Background: my previous landlord returned my security deposit, but for less than the full amount. I believe I am entitled to the full deposit back, so intend to dispute the amount.

I am going to try to avoid a heated debate that ultimately winds up in court, but it's hard to know how that initial discussion will go.

What I would like to do is deposit the check, and be 100% sure that payment cannot be stopped on the check before I contact the landlord and begin the dispute. How long do I have to wait to ensure that payment on the check cannot be stopped?

If it matters, the amount of the check is ~$2500. Also, I am not looking for advice on the legal aspects of the situation, just the check deposit.

  • Once it has cleared your account it cannot be stopped. The bank can tell you or if you have online account access it may differentiate between inclearings and cleared checks, Sep 17, 2015 at 18:08
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    careful. Depositing the check and then waiting too long before filing a written protest might cause an issue. Check the state documents regarding tenant law before proceeding. Sep 17, 2015 at 19:13
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    Generally takes 2 days for the check to clear. Once a check is cleared, there can't be a stop on it. Like mhoran_psprep mentioned, the fact that you have cashed the check would weaken your claim.
    – Dheer
    Sep 18, 2015 at 2:39
  • Thanks--as noted in the question, the legal side of issue is well understood and covered. Sep 18, 2015 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Is this a USA bank to a USA bank transaction? If so, it will clear in one to two business days. Once cleared, the landlord cannot stop pay it. He can, however, dishonestly claim it was a fraudulent check and attempt a chargeback.

If you want absolute certainty the money will not be recalled, go to the landlord's bank and cash the check as a non-customer. You will have to pay a small fee, but you will walk out with cash. I suggest you take a photocopy of the check, and staple your receipt to it as evidence that the check was cashed for any impending legal proceedings.

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