House Substitute 1 for House Bill 191
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Senate Housing & Land Use 6/29/23
Awaiting consideration in Committee
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LANDLORD TENANT CODE.
This substitute bill provides more clarity on the process by which a tenant may file an action in the Justice of the Peace Court to withhold rent payments in escrow. Specifically, the bill provides what the tenant must file in order to bring such action and how such actions proceed in court. This substitute bill also provides the remedy of termination of lease when the conditions of the rental unit threatens the life, health, or safety of the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household. This substitute bill also clarifies the appeal process for actions to withhold rent payments in escrow. This substitute bill also provides a tenant the right to raise as an affirmative defense to an action for summary possession filed by the landlord that a condition exists that threatens the life, health, or safety of the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household if the tenant satisfies specific requirements. If the Court determines that the tenant has satisfied those requirements, the Court may order that in lieu of summary possession, the tenant pay all base monthly rent owed to the landlord to an escrow account established by the Court. The Court may order the landlord to remedy the conditions alleged by a specific date. If both the landlord and tenant comply with the Court’s order, the amount held in escrow will be paid to the landlord within 30 days, and no judgment for possession shall be entered. Finally, this substitute bill provides that the Act will take effect 180 days after its enactment into law in order to provide the Justice of the Peace Court sufficient time to enact rules to implement the Act.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law