How the Program Works

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The Residential Rental Property Licenses and Inspection Program is a three-part process that requires the owner of a rental property to:

  1. obtain and maintain a Residential Property Rental License annually;
  2. register all rental properties; and
  3. receive interior and exterior inspections

The Department of Licenses and Inspections will inspect your rental property(ies) on a two- or five-year cycle, depending upon the number of units in a particular rental property. Inspectors need not inspect each unit in a building, but may randomly select units for inspection. Further, both occupied and vacant units are subject to inspections.

Step 1. Application Process

If you do not have a rental license, rental property owners are required to apply for and retain a Residential Property Rental License from the City of Wilmington (Wilmington City Code §5-92).

  1. An application will be mailed with the letter to rental property owners when their respective census tract rotation occurs; or
  2. Residential Property Rental Application

If the property owner does not live in New Castle County, Delaware, a property manager must be retained.

The property manager is required to have a City of Wilmington business license and a State of Delaware business license. He or she may contact the City of Wilmington, Division of Finance at (302) 576-2415 and the State of Delaware at 577-8778 for additional information.

Application Review

  1. Applications will be checked for general compliance with the City ordinances.
  2. If the application is approved, an inspection will be scheduled.

Step 2. Registration Process

All rental properties (including newly-acquired properties) must be registered with the Department of Licenses and Inspections. If you purchased or sold any rental properties, you may be required to provide proof of the transaction. For your convenience, the Residential Property Rental License Application and Supplemental Property Registration Form will accompany the letter or can be downloaded here:

  1. Residential Property Rental License Application
  2. Supplemental Property Registration Form

Step 3: Property Inspection

After the City has reviewed the requisite documentation and approved your application for a license, an inspection of the property(ies) will be scheduled. Please review the section Preparing for an Inspection.