A demand letter is a formal notice demanding that the recipient perform its contractual obligation within a specified time frame. The letter gives the recipient a chance to perform the obligation without being taken to court. You can do it yourself with BidSettle; you don’t need to hire a lawyer.
A demand letter must include the following information:
- the date;
- the recipient's contact information;
- the legal phrase “Without Prejudice” to protect the sender in case of a future litigation;
- the term “demand letter” clearly stated in the letter’s subject to avoid any ambiguity for the recipient;
- a summary of the dispute or matter;
- a demand;
- a deadline by which the recipient must act;
- the sender's contact information and signature.
Who can write a demand letter?
Anyone can complete a demand letter. You don’t need to be a lawyer! A demand letter, however, generally retains a specific format. Although not mandatory, it can be beneficial to be guided by software such as BidSettle’s smartform. This way, you will be guaranteed that your demand letter will be valid and will include each of the required elements listed above. Furthermore, BidSettle’s software takes care of providing the confirmation of delivery for the demand letter.
For complex cases, it can be beneficial to speak to a lawyer. Lawyers have the necessary expertise to provide you with a legal opinion and they can write a custom-made demand letter for your specific situation. This option is obviously much more expensive than BidSettle’s automated demand letter.
Why send a demand letter?
For most legal proceedings, a demand letter is mandatory. If you forget to send it, you could lose your case at court. It is therefore always a good idea to send a demand letter prior to instituting legal proceedings. Moreover, in many instances, it actually encourages the recipient to settle the dispute out of court.
It is important to note that sending a demand letter will not require the sender to actually sue or take any other type of legal action. If the recipient does not respond after having received the demand letter, or refuses to perform the legal obligation, the decision on taking the matter to court will be in the sender’s hands.
- It is important not to make a confession that could be used against you later on. We recommend that you simply stick to the facts.
- Being polite can pay off. In many situations, emotions can prevent disputes from being settled. Remaining emotionally neutral will improve your odds of settling your dispute.
- The sender must make a few copies of the demand letter and keep one for its file. The original must be sent to the recipient, preferably by registered mail, as this method will provide you with the confirmation of delivery. This is crucial as the sender must be able to prove that the document was sent and received. The sender must therefore keep a copy of the confirmation of delivery provided by Canada Post to be able to prove that the demand letter was delivered to the intended recipient. (A judge could ask for this evidence in court.)
- The legal expression “Without Prejudice” is normally indicated in order to protect the sender with regard to the contents of the letter (for instance, in case the sender would have to change the amount owed).