​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 |

Letter of demand 

A letter of demand is a letter to the other party who has your goods, asking them to return your goods to you or pay you money for them. It warns the other party that if this is not done you may start a court case to recover the goods.

AlertThe time limit to start a court case to recover goods is generally within six years from when you first demanded the return of the goods. For more information about time limits, see Going to court​.

HintA letter of demand may also be called a 'notice of demand'.

    Why send a let​ter of demand 

    It is important to clearly tell the other party that you want your goods back. They may have forgotten or not realised that they still have your goods, or there could be some other misunderstanding. 

    By sending a simple letter setting out your claim, you may convince them to return your goods or pay you the value of your goods and therefore avoid the need to start a case in court. This will save you time and money. If you end up having to go to court, the letter is evidence of you asking for your goods back. 

    AlertIf there is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) 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.

    How to write a letter of demand

    When writing your letter, make sure you include: 

    • ​the date 
    • your full name 
    • your contact details so the other party can respond to you, for example, your telephone or fax number, email or postal address. 

    Your letter of demand should tell the other party: 

    • 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
    • the date when the goods should be returned  
    • how the goods should be returned, for example delivered or collected by you
    • legal action may be started if the goods are not returned or payment made by the time specified in the letter 
    • they may be liable (responsible) to pay your costs and interest on the claim.

    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 a​mount. For more information, see What are the goods worth​?

    Once you have written the letter:

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

    Samp​​​le: ​Sample letter of demand - goods

    How the other party might respond

    After the other party gets your letter of demand they might:

    • ​​​​agree to return the goods and make arrangements to deliver them to you​
    • tell you they no longer have the goods but they will pay you money instead
    • deny the goods belong to you 
    • ask for more information 
    • negotiate with you, by offering to pay you a lesser amount
    • ask if you want to go to mediation
    • do nothing.

    If you cannot reach an agreement with the other party, you may need to decide whether to start a case in court. It is a good idea to try to resolve your dispute with the other party, before going to court. For more information, see Resolving your dispute​.