A demand letter is a formal letter that demands the other person (or corporation) performs a legal obligation, such as fixing a problem, paying a sum of money, or honoring a contract. The letter describes the agreement between parties and gives the recipient a chance to fix the issue without being taken to court.
Anyone can write and send a demand letter. It does not need to be from a lawyer or other professional. A demand letter is not legally required to start a lawsuit, but it is often a good idea because if the recipient agrees with the demand, everyone avoids the stress of going to court.
What to include in a Demand Letter:
- Date and the recipient's contact information
- Legal phrase WITHOUT PREJUDICE to protect you from the contents of the letter being used against you later in court
- Summary of the agreement and the problem or issue
- Demand for a specific relief or payment
- Deadline stating when the matter must be settled
- A reasonable amount of time to comply
- That you intend to start a lawsuit if no action is taken
- Sender's contact information and signature
- Fair and specified terms
You can find a sample template and a sample Demand Letter on the SmallClaimsBC website.