Can I deposit the returned portion of my security deposit if I plan to take my ex-landlord to small claims court for the portion he wrongfully withheld?

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Can I deposit the returned portion of my security deposit if I plan to take my ex-landlord to small claims court for the portion he wrongfully withheld?

My ex-landlord returned to me a check for a portion of my security deposit. He withheld a large portion of the deposit and failed to give me a written itemization of the deductions within 30 days in accordance with Ohio Revised Code 5321.16. Can I deposit the portion he returned to me and still sue for the wrongfully withheld portion or will my deposit be construed as an acceptance of his deductions?

Asked on November 14, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, depositing the part he gave back to you will not be considered your acceptance of his deductions or prevent you from suing for the balance. When someone owes you money and pays part of it, you are allowed to take that partial payment and still proceed for the rest unless *you* stated you were accepting this in full payment or satisfaction.


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