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How do I write a Demand Letter?

Reviewed by
Nov 4, 2021

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.