​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Send a letter of demand

If you have not been able to reach an agreement, the next step is to send a 'letter of demand'.

    ​Send a le​tter of demand

    A letter of demand is a letter to the person who has your goods, demanding that they return the goods or pay you money for them.

    Alert iconOnce you send a letter of demand you usually have six years to start a court case against the other person if no other letters had previously been sent.

    Handy hint iconA letter of demand may also be called a 'notice of demand'. 

     Sending a letter of demand:

    • notifies the other person that you believe they have your goods and you want them back
    • may avoid the need to go to court, and can save you time and money
    • is evidence of you asking for the goods back.

    Alert iconIf an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) 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 of demand. Sending a letter of demand may be a breach of the AVO.

    The letter you send should tell the other person:

    • what goods you want back
    • whether you would accept payment for the goods instead of their return 
    • how much the goods are worth
    • that you own the goods and that they have no legal right to keep them
    • when the goods should be returned, for example the date and time
    • how the goods should be returned, for example delivered or collected by you 
    • that legal action may be started if the goods are not returned or payment made by the time specified in the letter.

    If you think that your goods have been destroyed or lost, then you can tell the other person that they should pay you for the value of the goods.

    Alert icon​You should get legal advice before asking for payment for the value of the goods. If you later find out the goods are worth more than you thought, you may not be able to claim the extra amount.

    For more information, see What are the goods worth?

    When writing your letter, make sure you include:

    • the date
    • your full name
    • your postal address
    • your phone numbers.

    Once you have written the letter, you should:

    • make a copy
    • send it by post, fax or email, or hand it to the person
    • keep a record of where, when and how you delivered the letter.

    Sample: For a sample notice, see Sample letter of demand - goods.

    What if you can't find the person?

    If you don't know where to find the other person you could try:

    • contacting them by email or online, for example, on Facebook (but you will usually need their street address if you want to go to court)
    • asking other people who know the person
    • searching the White Pages
    • paying a private investigator to find the person (this can be expensive).

    For more information on how to find the person who has your goods see Finding and naming the right defendant in the 'Debt - small claims' topic of this website.

    If you have tried this and still can't find the person, you should get legal advice.

    FAQs

    For answers to commonly asked questions, see Getting your goods back - Frequently Asked Questions.

    Further information

    Commu​​nity Justice Centres​​