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What to do when rent is not paid

If a tenant in a Delaware residential property fails to pay rent, a landlord may have many options to either demand that it be paid or terminate the rental agreement. At any time after rent is due, a landlord may issue a written demand for payment. If the past due amount is not paid within five days, a landlord may terminate the agreement. It may also be possible to provide more than five days to pay the past due amount if desired.

In the event that the tenant still has not paid the rent, it may be possible to ask for summary possession or to take other appropriate actions to remedy the issue. After a tenant has been notified in writing demanding payment of past due rent, a landlord may impose additional charges. These charges are considered to be additional rent that has accrued.

In the event that the rent is paid before any action has taken place, a landlord generally cannot take action for summary possession to take over the unit. A tenant may decide to pay any past due rent after an action has been initiated by a landlord. If the landlord accepts the payment without a written reservation of rights, the landlord cannot continue with an action after payment is received.

Tenants who violate the terms of their lease may forfeit the right to live in a landlord's property. While landlords may choose to work out new payment terms as opposed to seeking legal remedies, it may be possible to break a lease if a tenant fails to pay rent. It may be worthwhile to work with an attorney to help resolve a dispute a landlord may have with a tenant.

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