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The Art of the Demand Letter Part 1

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Contractors have many concerns. Whether it’s dealing with an OSHA citation, construction defect, defamation claim, or any other type of dispute, a South FL contractor lawyer is here to assist you. However, perhaps the biggest concern a contractor faces is an owner that is behind in payments or simply refuses to compensate the contractor for their hard work.

If this has happened to you, there are a few different options you can take to recover your money. Perhaps the best place to begin, along with being the most cost-effective way, is to send the owner a demand letter requesting payment.

What’s a Demand Letter?

The demand letter is a way to show the recipient that you mean business. For example, when requesting payment from an owner, the demand letter outlines your legal argument pertaining to the dispute. This clearly worded document is essentially the CliffsNotes to your prospective case. Chances are if you are sending an owner a demand letter that you have already tried to speak with them. Unlike different types of verbal communication, demand letters are effective because they establish a record in writing and can be used as an exhibit in a court of law. They also show that you made an honest effort in good faith to resolve the dispute before litigation.

Are Demand Letters Effective?

If demand letters were effective every single time, there would be no need for litigation. With that being said, a demand letter can be extremely helpful and at least establishes in writing that you should be compensated and that you are willing to take legal action if you are not. At the very least, this should get the attention of the other party and confirm that you are “serious” about being paid. Of course, this will cause the owner to consider all of the potential legal expenses they could incur if they refuse to compensate you for what you are owed.

When receiving a demand letter, some owners will nip the problem in the bud and quickly pay while others will ignore the letter. It honestly may depend on the relationship the contractor has with the owner and whether or not there is potential business together moving forward. Either way, if you are owed money, sending a demand letter is a step in the right direction to seeking payment.

For more information on demand letters, please read sections two and three.

If you would like to speak with one of our South FL contractor lawyers, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.