Making claims to individuals or different organisations can be hectic, especially when the involved parties are not very cooperative. In such a scenario, the claimant must go the extra mile. Therefore, ensuring that he/she/they get what is rightfully theirs according to the law. Getting a letter of demand South Africa can adequately serve as a step for any South African citizen, organisation, or company that is trying to make a claim for something.
What is a letter of demand? This is a correspondence that indicates a legal claim usually of payment and in most cases is written by a lawyer. It makes a claim from the recipient to fulfil their end of the agreement. The claim can be conjured up for different reasons. Some of the reasons may be a contract breach or a legal wrong; however, in most cases, it is for payment of claims. The formal letter format South Africa is used in most cases, especially if drafted by a lawyer.
How do you write a letter of demand?
The letter of demand can either be formal or informal. There are different websites online where you can get a letter of demand South Africa pdf that is properly detailed. It does not have any specific methods of sending so it can also be emailed. A letter of demand for payment South Africa should contain the details as listed below:
- Involved parties information (the claimant and recipient’s information)
- The date when the debt was incurred
- If there is a dispute, the date when there was improper charging should be included
- Details of the debt owed. This should consist of the amount owed, the nature of the agreement, and the information on how the contract was not adhered to.
- There should be details of previous attempts to collect the payment such as invoices, calls, or emails sent to inquire about the same.
- The expectations of the payment should be clearly stated including when the payment is expected.
- The repercussions of not making the payment should also be clearly stated especially if the debtor is writing a final demand for payment and intends on suing if the payment is not made.
- The claimant should include their personal signature
Here is a section 129 letter of demand template South Africa sample:
Dear [debtor’s name],
Letter of demand for outstanding payment
I am writing in reference to [details of contract or agreement] and payment not being received. I enclose [specify the titles of the documents you are attaching, such as invoice number and an original quote] dated [insert date] for the outstanding amount of $ [amount]. I demand full payment of the outstanding amount within [usually 14 days from the date of this letter – best to specify the date].
[Optional] Alternatively, and without prejudice to my rights for the full recovery of the debt, I am prepared to:
[Choose the most appropriate option]
Accept the amount of $ [less than full payment] as the full and final settlement of the debt if paid within seven days [or another appropriate period] from the date of this letter.
Accept installments of $[amount] per [week/month] until the debt is fully paid, the first installment to be paid on [date] and after that on the first working day of every [week/month] until the debt is fully paid.
If this matter is not resolved by the time specified above, I reserve the right to commence legal proceedings to recover the debt without further notice to you, and this letter may be tendered in court as evidence of your failure to pay.
Legal action may result in you having to pay legal costs, interest and could impact your credit history.
Should you wish to contact me, my telephone number is [insert number].
The duration in which the claims are supposed to be settled is 14 days, failure to which may lead to court summons. The letter of demand South Africa example shown above can be used in formal or informal claims.
How to respond to a letter of demand
It is imperative to react to the demand letter rightfully. You should check if the claims being made are unfounded, and if they are, seek an explanation from the parties involved. If you do not agree with the content of the claim, seek advice from a lawyer. In the case that you do agree with the claim, you should contact the other party and settle on how you are to meet the orders.
Ignoring a letter of demand
In most circumstances, the letter of demand is usually the last step, especially in the cases of debt collection before moving to court. Remember the communication can be used as evidence in the court once a lawsuit is made. Thus, it is not recommended to ignore a letter of demand.
Writing a letter of demand South Africa can be an efficient way of making a claim. The claimant should ensure that all the details in the claim are correct and are in line with the terms and conditions of the contract previously made.
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