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To cash or not to cash insufficient returned security deposit?

Posted by Shara on December 02, 1999 at 15:25:01:

I vacated my apartment on 10/31 of this year. As I had not received my security deposit back yet, I phoned my former landlord's office to inquire as to when I should expect the check. The secretary told me that she would be mailing it out tomorrow, along with a letter from the landlord's attorney, which should explain "the difference." I asked her what the difference is. Of our $2500 deposit, the landlord has written us a check for only $950. I asked why the landlord was retaining $1550 of our deposit, and the secretary told me that she was not able to tell me that, and I should wait for their letter.

There was no damage to the apartment, aside from reasonable wear-and-tear, and I plan to contest the amount of this check (once I receive the letter and find out exactly why he claims he's retaining my $1550). Should I go ahead and cash the check for $950 once it arrives, and then try to fight for the rest, or will my cashing this check be taken as some sort of tacit agreement to his charges?

Obviously, I can't take any action until I receive the letter from the landlord's attorney, but I'm just wondering whether or not I should go ahead and cash his check.

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