COVID-19

State of Emergency, DE HAP, JP Court Updates

EIGHTH EXTENSION OF THE DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE DUE TO A PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT WHEREAS, in connection with the serious public health threat from the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) that has impacted the State of Delaware, I issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency for the entire state at 3:00 p.m. on March 12, 2020; and

WHEREAS, during the past several months, I have issued Twenty-Seven Modifications, including a First Revision to the 27th Modification, to the State of Emergency declaration first to protect from the spread of COVID-19 by, among others things, limiting social gatherings, closing places of public accommodation, restricting beach access, closing childcare to all but emergency child care, restricting business operations to essential businesses only with non-essential businesses either closed or remote working only, and ordering a shelter in place for all Delawareans, and then to begin to reopen the state by, among other things, requiring individuals to wear cloth face coverings both inside essential businesses and outside when social distancing is difficult, permitting businesses and other places of public accommodation to reopen slowly, reopening the beaches, lifting the quarantine and restrictions on commercial lodgings, establishing guidelines for reopening schools and participating in sports safely and taking other measures to reopen the economy while still focused on protecting the public health, safety and welfare of Delawareans during the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware continues to face a serious public health threat from COVID-19 and the risk to life remains; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Delaware’s emergency management statutes, a State of Emergency proclaimed by the Governor may not continue for more than 30 days without being renewed; and

WHEREAS, I extended the State of Emergency for an additional 30 days on April 10, 2020, on May 8, 2020, on June 6, 2020, on July 6, 2020, on August 5, 2020 on September 3, 2020, and on October 2, 2020; and

WHEREAS, I find that the conditions necessitating a State of Emergency continue to exist and require that the State of Emergency remains in effect.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN C. CARNEY, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the State of Delaware, do hereby declare: The State of Emergency due to COVID-19, first declared March 12, 2020 and subsequently modified as set forth above is extended, effective immediately. All provisions of the State of Emergency in the Twenty-Seventh Modification currently in place, which includes the terms of the First Revision to the 27th Modification, shall remain in full force and effect until terminated in accordance with state law. APPROVED this 30th day of October 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

Updates on the DE HAP 10.30.20

https://assets.noviams.com/novi-file-uploads/daa/pdfs-and-documents/DEHAP_flyer.pdf

On July 1st, Governor Carney, AG Jennings, DSHA, Delaware Judiciary Announce Joint Effort on Foreclosure and Eviction Prevention. See related to evictions which is amended from the sixth modifications

EVICTIONS. Effective July 1, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. E.D.T., Paragraph B of the Sixth Modification of the Declaration of the State of Emergency related to evictions, as clarified by Paragraph 1 of the Fourteenth Modification of the Declaration of the State of Emergency, is modified by deleting it in its entirety, including Paragraph 1 of the Fourteenth Modification, and substituting the following language:

  1. Actions for summary possession may be filed with respect to any residential unit located within the State, and shall be stayed to permit the Justice of the Peace Court to determine whether the parties would benefit from participating in court supervised mediation or alternative dispute resolution, which process may include appropriate housing support services, as determined by the Delaware State Housing Authority, if requested by either party or the Court. Sheriffs, constables, court officers, and their agents shall refrain from acting to remove individuals from residential properties through the eviction process during the time this Order is in effect, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice. With respect to any past due balance for a residential rental unit, no late fee or interest may be charged or accrue on the account for the residential unit during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Actions filed should include supporting documents, as directed by the court and supplied by the landlord, that demonstrate that the subject property is not covered by a federal moratorium on evictions.

  2. Any action for summary possession with respect to any residential unit located within the State that was filed before the State of Emergency for which no final judgment had been entered shall be further stayed to permit the Justice of the Peace Court to determine whether the parties would benefit from participating in court supervised mediation or alternative dispute resolution, which process may include appropriate housing support services, as determined by the Delaware State Housing Authority, if requested by either party or the Court. Sheriffs, constables, and their agents shall refrain from acting to remove individuals from residential properties through the eviction process during the time this Order is in effect, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice. With respect to any past due balance for a residential rental unit, no late fee or interest may be charged or accrue on the account for the residential unit during the COVID State of Emergency.
JP COURT WEBINAR JP COURT FORM 71
PHASE 2 GUIDANCE RE-OPENING PLAN AMENDED SAFE PRACTICES APPROVED 5.20
PHASE 1 RECOVERY- GUIDANCE PLAN STATE OF DELAWARE EMERGENCY DECLARATION
MORTON, VALIHURA & ZERBATO RESPONSE GRASSROOTS ALERT

Resources and Documents for Communicating Covid-19

COVID-19 Information for DelawareThe purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local AffiliatesPlease remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

State Legal and Regulatory Information

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 1, 2020, allowing retail establishments, restaurants and other businesses to open at 30 percent of stated fire capacity with social distancing requirements and other public health guidance in place.
State of Emergency Governor John Carney declared a state of emergency on March 12.

Delaware Justice of the Peace Standing Orders

March 13th Standing Order   I   April 23rd Standing Order No. 3   I   June 3rd Standing Order No. 4

  • Eviction Status: Eviction Enforcement Suspended
  • Action: Suspension of eviction proceedings and ejectments ordered and scheduled.
  • Scope: All lease violations.
  • Exceptions: “Forthwith summons applications in landlord-tenant matters involving essential services and/or harm to person or property will be accepted and ruled upon” – “Case by case exceptions to these guidelines may be ordered at the discretion of the Court and with proper notice to all parties.”
  • Duration: Until further notice. A comprehensive standing order related to residential eviction filings will be issued at the expiration of the Governors Executive Order implementing an eviction moratorium.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.
  • Additional Commentary: The Justice of the Peace Court has also ordered that all landlord/tenant cases and ordered/scheduled evictions between March 17, 2020 and April 16, 2020 be delayed until after June 1, 2020, with exceptions for "landlord-tenant matters involving essential services and/or harm to persons or property."
Executive Order
  • Action: Actions for summary possession may be filed with respect to any residential unit in the state, but are stayed to permit the Justice of the Peace Court to determine whether the parties would benefit from participating in court supervised mediation or alternative dispute resolution, which may include appropriate housing support services, as determined by the Delaware State Housing Authority, if requested by either party of the court. Sheriffs, constables, court officers, and their agents shall refrain from acting to remove individuals from residential properties through the eviction process during the time this Order is in effect, unless the court determines on its own motion or motion of the parties that enforcement is necessary in the interest of justice. Any action for summary possession filed before the State of emergency for which no final judgment had been entered shall be further stayed as defined above.
  • Exceptions: Summary possession actions based on claims of irreparable harm to person or property.
  • Duration: Through the end of the state of emergency.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider AssistanceOn March 26, 2020, Gov. Carney and the Delaware State Housing Authority established a $2.5 million Housing Assistance Fund for renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Renters must make 80% below the area median income for their respective county to be eligible and can apply for up to $1,500 in support that will be paid directly to their housing provider or utility provider.

On August 9, 2020, state leaders announced that $40 million in assistance is now available for those most affected.With the relaunch of the Delaware Housing Assistance Program and through the Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program up to $5,000 of assistance can support qualified households and renters. If applications are approved, payments due for rent or mortgages will be sent directly to landlords or servicer banks, not individuals.

The state of Delaware and New Castle County will each contribute $20 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support maintaining places of residence.
Housing applicants must be Delaware residents with a maximum household income at or below 60% of the area median income for the county in which they reside, according to the news release. More information on the COVID-19 rental and mortgage assistance programs is available online at destatehousing.com/covid19. Landlords and property owners can submit applications on behalf of their tenants online.
Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. There is no statute preempting local rent regulation.
Price-Gouging LawDelaware does not have statutory language regulating price gouging during declarations of emergency.


Delaware Testing Action Plan

March 20, 2020, Governor Carney provides Delaware Testing Plan (see link below)

Testing Sites

DAA