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.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
Do not cash or deposit the check or you will give the landlord a defense called satisfaction and accord.
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