I always advise any client not to vacate the property unless and until entire ‘Security Deposit’ has been paid in full.
Landlords always play this game of not returning the Security Deposit. Especially because they have used it or spent it completely.
Some important tips include:-
(a) Unless and Until you get your security deposit back - dont hand over your keys to the place. You have the legal right to keep the keys to the place unless Landlord forks over your security deposit.
(b) Dont accept a cheque from the Landlord under any circumstances. Always prefer Cash or Account Transfer.
Going to court is almost always useless. As a Tenant your only option is to refuse to vacate without the deposit and you can claim you want the deposit to pay theadvance in the new house.
Of course- if you want to vacate and landlord is fine with you as tenant this becomes more complicated.
However always try to negotiate a settlement first before involving lawyers and courts.