Removes penalty for holdover tenants, extends senior tax credit deadline

The newest modification to the State of Emergency order says:

• COVID-19 has created significant obstacles for tenants who are attempting to obtain new housing and these obstacles can prevent tenants from being able to move out of their existing rental units at the end of their leases through no fault of their own; …

Section 5515, Title 25 of the Delaware Code allowing a landlord to assess double rent from holdover tenants penalizes tenants who fail to vacate their rental units at the end of their leases, thereby incentivizing tenants to vacate their units even if they have not secured adequate alternative housing;

… the intent to the … State of Emergency declaration was to suspend and prevent all such penalties during the State of Emergency; and the assessment of such a penalty at this time is contrary to the interest of preserving public health and ensuring that individuals remain in their homes during the public health emergency.

• Certain persons age 65 and over who may qualify for the Senior School Property Tax Credit Program must file new applications in each County by April 30th of each year; and it is in the public interest to extend the 2020 application deadline to ensure the health and safety of potential applicants …

• [And finally] it is important that those who certify a person’s death do so electronically.

As a result, the “deadline for the Senior School Property Tax Credit Program is hereby extended to June 1, 2020” and “Effective May 1, at 8 a.m., all medical certifications of death in this state … shall be completed, signed, certified and filed electronically through the Delaware Vital Events Registration System (DelVERS).”