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Wilmington City Council pushes for additional requirements for landlords

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

In their latest effort to improve the city’s rental stock, elected officials in Wilmington are pushing for landlords to be required to have business licenses.

Wilmington City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday urging the General Assembly to enact legislation to mandate all Delaware landlords maintain a valid business license. The City already requires landlords to register their properties and maintain a rental license. 

“I believe it will have a major effect on the number of registered properties,” said first-term Councilwoman Shané Darby, who sponsored the resolution.  “The number of business licenses will go up, and [it will help] make sure people have affordable and up-to-code housing they can live in and rent here in the City of Wilmington.”

The resolution also asks state lawmakers to prohibit any landlord  without a valid business license from filing an eviction action or having a judgment entered against a tenant. 

Other Councilmembers said such legislation could hold landlords accountable, or level the playing field during evictions.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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