A letter of demand is an important step to take BEFORE you consider litigation. Such a letter is the first step to establishing your claim.

It is important to lay down all steps that have been taken leading up to the demand. Remember, it is possible that a judge or jury will be looking at this letter at some stage, and it is important to bear in mind that he or she will be looking for the facts to show that there is no escape route for the defending party. For this reason a successful letter of demand will close all gaps through which a defendant may slip.

What follows is a simple letter of demand that i wrote for a friend. Bear in mind that this is only an example, and should not be used as a precedent without filling in the facts that pertain to your situation.

Dear Sir.

RE: Letter of Demand for repayment of R1600 deposit.

By virtue of an oral agreement between you and I, in terms of which I rented your garden cottage at number 16 Burton Road Sydenham, I was required to pay to you a deposit amounting to one thousand six hundred Rands (R1600).

This deposit was paid with your agreement in two parts: one thousand Rands (R1000) was paid to you on the 10th of August 2001 in cash, and six hundred Rands (R600) was paid to you on the 29th of August 2001 in cash. Copies of the receipts for both amounts paid are annexed hereto.

On 13 December 2001 I vacated your premises in good order. You agreed that the premises were in good order. I asked for my deposit back. You did not return my deposit and told me phone you on 21 December 2001 about the return of my deposit.

I phoned you on 21 December 2001 as requested. However there was no answer. I have since attempted to contact you numerous times, via phone calls, short message service and even personal visits to your premises at number 16 Burton Road Sydenham in order to recover my deposit. You have not returned my calls or messages, and have not been at home when I visited. You have still not returned my deposit.

I hereby demand the immediate payment within fourteen (14) days of the one thousand six hundred Rands (R1600) deposit by you by cheque or by postal order to my address above. Should you not do so, I intend to issue summons against you in the small claims court for payment of that amount.

Yours sincerely

Lindsay Jones.

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