If you have tried to speak to the person about the goods but you haven't been successful there may be other things you can try.
You can try and send the other person a letter if you don't have the goods anymore or you don't believe you should return the goods.
Writing a letter to the other person is often a good idea as it may avoid the need to go to court, and can save you time and money.
If an Apprehended Violence Order is in place against you protecting the other party or anyone they have a domestic relationship with, you should get
legal advice before sending a letter.
The letter you send to the other person should tell them why you don't believe you have to return the goods. For example:
Make sure you include:
Once you have written the letter, you should:
You should get
legal advice before writing a letter. What you write in the letter may be later used in a court case against you.
A person who is chasing you for goods may write to you demanding their goods back or asking you to pay them compensation (money) for the value of the goods. This is called a 'letter of demand' or a 'notice of demand'.
The letter will usually say:
You have a number of options when you receive a letter of demand:
If you agree that you should return the goods, you can contact or write back to the other person to arrange a time for the goods to be collected or for the goods to be delivered.
You can write back to the person and tell them why you don't think you should return the goods. If you're not sure whether you should return the goods or if it has been more than six years since the goods should have been returned, you should get
If you have never had the goods, you can tell the person this. If you have had the goods but they were lost, destroyed or disposed of by you (for example, you threw them out), the other person may ask for you for money for the value of the goods. In this case you should get
This is known as a 'request for further and better particulars'. For example, you could ask for documents that may help you decide who owns the goods such as any receipts from the purchase. If there is a dispute about who owns the goods, you should get
Ignoring a letter of demand isn't a good idea. A letter of demand is usually the first step for people before they start a court case. If you do nothing, the other person may start court action and you may miss the chance to sort out the problem before you end up in court.
Sample: For a sample response to a letter of demand, see
Sample response to a letter of demand - goods.
Make sure you keep a copy of the letter of demand and your written response. Also, make dated notes of any telephone conversation you have with the other person about the goods.
You should get
legal advice before writing a letter in response to a letter of demand. Your letter may be used to support the other side's case if a court case is started.
For more information about reading and writing letters in legal cases, see
Letters in the 'What you should know' topic of this website.
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
Being chased for goods - Frequently Asked Questions.