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HB 191 – Landlord Obligations and Tenant Remedies

House Bill 37, a bill introduced earlier in the session but had failed to get enough signatures on two occasions to get released from committee, is back in brand new bill form as House Bill 191, but I fail to see how the bill has changed at all, so I am not certain why Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker has reintroduced it as a new bill if it looks to meet the same fate.

House Bill 191 allows tenants to bring an action of rent escrow to pay rent to the court instead of to the landlord due to the presence of asserted defects or conditions in the property.

Alternatively, the tenant may refuse to pay rent and raise the existence of the asserted defects or conditions as an affirmative defense to an action for summary possession or an action for nonpayment of rent. This bill requires the tenant to give proper notice and allow the landlord the opportunity to effect repairs.’ 

The bill requires the court to make appropriate findings of fact and to make any order that justice of the case may require, which may include termination of the lease and return of the leased premises to the landlord, order that the action for rent escrow be dismissed, order that the amount of rent be reduced in amount determined by the court to be fair and equitable, or order the landlord to make the repairs or correct the conditions complained of by the tenant.

House SponsorsDorsey Walker, Lambert, LonghurstSenate SponsorsPinkney
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Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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