If my landlord only returned part of my security deposit and I am suing in small claims for double the amount, can I cash the partial check before court?

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If my landlord only returned part of my security deposit and I am suing in small claims for double the amount, can I cash the partial check before court?

Landlord returned check of $1660 from a $2250 security deposit. It was 17 days late with no letter stating the reason for deductions. I am suing him in small claims court for double the amount of the security deposit. Am I able to cash the $1660 check or will I be accepting his partial payment and void my lawsuit?

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If you are suing your landlord for the full maount of your secuirty deposit and he or she returned a partial amount after you filed suit, you can still seek the difference between what was paid back and what is owed plus the statutory damages even if you cash the $1,660.00 check sent.

There should be no penalty to you for cashing the $1,660.00 check. Whether the judge rules in your favor and gives you double the $2,250.00 amount less the $1,660.00 paid to date is an unknown.


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