Can I claim accord and satisfaction against my landlord?

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Can I claim accord and satisfaction against my landlord?

Our former landlord kept our deposit and are additionally trying to charge us another $600+ for replacing the carpet. I strongly disagreed with these charges, so I wrote her a very detailed letter explaining each point I was disputing and sent a check for the amount I believe I owe. In the letter, I explicitly stated that by her accepting the check, we would consider this matter resolved and no further action is needed. I wrote “final payment” on the check. She cashed it, and wrote another letter demanding the remaining fund a week later. Can I claim accord and satisfaction?

Asked on August 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not claim accord and satisfaction. There was in fact no mutual agreement to settle the claim for the amount of your check. Since the landlord believes you owe more money, she can cash/deposit that check, apply it against your balance, then proceed against  you for the rest. Because she never agreed to your proposed settlement, it does not bind her. People try this all the time, but it does not work--you need agreement to be clearly demonstrated first, before you pay; if you pay before there is agreement, the other party may apply your money without giving up its rights.


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