Changes to Delaware Fair Housing Law

August 9, 2016

Publication| Real Estate Services

On August 3, 2016, Governor Jack Markell signed into law Senate Bill No. 179, as amended. The Act amends the Delaware Fair Housing Act and the Delaware Residential Landlord-Tenant Code by prohibiting housing discrimination based on source of income, making source of income a protected class for this purpose. In particular, the legislation is aimed at discrimination in sales or rental of housing on the basis that a prospective buyer or tenant derives income from housing assistance or other governmental private assistance programs. However, the Act also allows a prospective seller or landlord to consider the sufficiency or sustainability of income or credit ratings so long as it is done in a commercially reasonable manner and without regard to source of income. Moreover, the Act states that it is not intended to require landlords to participate in rental assistance programs or to affect housing programs that reserve units for tenants who are in rental assistance programs. The Act was effective when signed.

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