How to write a letter of demand

Using a letter of demand is an important formal first step to take to recover money owed to you.

You can write a letter yourself without the aid of a lawyer to save money.

Download a sample letter of demand.

Before sending a letter of demand, check your contract or agreement with the person who owes you money. Make sure your demand is in line with your agreed terms and conditions.

Advantages of sending a letter of demand:

  • Provides the debtor with a clear demand for payment.
  • It gives the debtor one more chance to pay before you take further action.
  • It can help maintain goodwill and a positive working relationship to avoid potentially hostile and expensive legal proceedings.
  • It could provide useful written evidence if you need to take the matter further (send it by registered post or courier to ensure you have proof of delivery).

Make sure you attach copies of any relevant contracts, agreements, invoices and any other evidence that you supplied the goods or services as promised. Be aware that a letter of demand can only be used for debts related to goods or services provided; it cannot be used in relation to loss or damage.

The letter of demand should not look like a legal document, nor should it imply that you have started any legal proceedings.

Clearly state the deadline by which you expect to be paid. As a guide, give the debtor at least three weeks to pay.

If the debt is still outstanding at the end of this period contact us for further help.

If you receive a letter of demand don’t ignore it. If you disagree with the amount owed write back to the person who sent it asking for clarification. If you don’t believe you should pay any of the claim contact us for help.