Can I still claim unreturned security deposit after cashing a check that says full payment?

Asked 12 months ago - Valley Stream, NY

I did not cash the check yet, just wondering if I can. Landlord returned a fraction of the security deposit and is making statements in her outline that are false for withholding. I can prove each one but the money that was returned, can I still cash although it says full payment? I already opened the case, but it was opened after the check was sent and therefore has a earlier date. A letter was sent a letter asking if I can please cash the check. I see this as a red flag.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Bruno Patrick Bianchi

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should not cash the check until you appear in court.

  2. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Do not cash or deposit the check or you will give the landlord a defense called satisfaction and accord.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  3. Steven Warren Smollens

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Dear Valley Stream Tenant:

    Hire an attorney. Cashing the check is a "settlement."

    Because the landlord is holding on to your money, you are right about proving her false statements, but you have the right to do that when you sue for the full return of the security deposit.

    Of course, being right, is never a guarantee of success, and Small Claims Court, is still a court. If you have evidence of the condition of the home when you moved out, that should be enough.

    If you mean you already have started the Small Claims Court case, then I expect that you would consider full settlement all that you sued for.

    Good luck,

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should... more

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