If I received a returned security deposit check with deductions that I wish to challenge in small claims, do I forfeit my right to challenge if I cash the check?

I wish to challenge cleaning fees that were deducted from the security deposit of my last apartment. I believe that being charged for this violates normal tear and Tear provisions. If I cash this check, do I forfeit the right to challenge in small claims court?

Asked on June 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, you would not forfeit your right to sue for amounts you believe were wrongfully withheld by cashing the check. All cashing the check does is mean that you can't sue for the amount you accepted. For example: say your depost was $1,000 and you don't think any of it should have withheld. You get a check for $200; you could cash that check and sue for the other $1,000.


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