A breach of contract demand letter puts another party on notice for failing to follow the requirements of a contract. It typically demands that the other party comply with the contract or it demands some compensation for breaching the contract agreement.
The letter should include key details about the agreement, the breach, and any requests you have to comply with the original agreement. This letter often prevents the need for litigation and encourages the other side to comply.
What Is a Breach of Contract Demand?
A breach of contract demand notifies the other party of a contract that they have violated it in some way. This demand is a formal request for the other party to comply with the contract or provide some compensation for the breach. This letter is used as a pre-litigation strategy to enforce compliance with the original agreement.
Many of these demand letters solve the issue, especially when the letter states that litigation may ensue if the issues are not resolved.
A formal demand letter shows that you are serious about enforcing the terms of your contract and that you will initiate legal action if necessary. It can also facilitate a dialogue to solve problems rather than create more of them.
What to Include in a Breach of Contract Demand Letter
There are certain pieces of key information you should include in a breach of contract demand letter. This information should include, but is not limited to:
Breach of Contract Demand Letter Sample
This breach of contract demand letter sample from Legal Templates can help you get started.
Serving a Breach of Contract Demand Letter
To serve a breach of contract demand letter, you should follow a few important steps:
Step 1. Include Important Information
Include all of the important details of the agreement as part of your letter before you serve it. These details are like those listed above, which include the original agreement and possible cures for the breach of contract. Without this detailed description, your letter may be deficient as a formal demand letter.
Step 2. Send Letter by Certified Mail or Other Service Method
Unlike legal complaints filed with a court, your breach of contract demand letter does not require a specific type of mail or service. You are not required to personally serve the other party or even send it by a tracked mail method.
It is recommended that you send the letter to an official or business address when possible, and not a person’s home address.
Step 3: Retain Records of Service
Retain your original demand letter and any documentation from the method of service you choose. This documentation could be important proof if the case should require litigation.
Statute of Limitations in Each State
If the other party breached your contract, you only have a certain number of years to file your claim in court. The following are the statute of limitations periods in each state:
|State||Number of Years||Statute|
|Alabama||10 years||§ 6-2-30 to § 6-2-41|
|Alaska||3 years||AS 09.10.053|
|Arizona||6 years||§ 12-548|
|Arkansas||5 years||§ 16-56-111|
|California||4 years||CCP § 337|
|Colorado||3 years||§ 13-80-101|
|Connecticut||6 years||§ 52-576(a)|
|Delaware||3 years||§ 8106|
|Florida||5 years||§ 95.11(2)(b)|
|Georgia||6 years||§ 9-3-24|
|Hawaii||6 years||§ 657-1|
|Idaho||5 years||§ 5-216|
|Illinois||10 years||735 ILCS 5/13-206|
|Indiana||10 years||IC 34-11-2-11|
|Iowa||10 years||§ 614.1(5)|
|Kansas||5 years||§ 60-511|
|Kentucky||15 years||§ 413.090|
|Louisiana||10 years||CC 3499|
|Maine||20 years||§ 751|
|Maryland||3 years||§ 5–101|
|Massachusetts||6 years||M.G.L. c. 260, § 2|
|Michigan||6 years||§ 600.5807(8)|
|Minnesota||6 years||§ 541.05|
|Mississippi||3 years||§ 15-1-49|
|Missouri||5 years||§ 516.120|
|Montana||8 years||§ 27-2-202(1)|
|Nebraska||5 years||§ 25-205|
|Nevada||6 years||NRS 11.190(1)(b)|
|New Hampshire||3 years||§ 508:4|
|New Jersey||6 years||§ 2A:14-1|
|New Mexico||6 years||§ 37-1-3(A)|
|New York||6 years||N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 213(2)|
|North Carolina||3 years||§ 1-52(1)|
|North Dakota||6 years||§ 28-01-16(1)|
|Ohio||8 years||O.R.C. 2305.06|
|Oklahoma||5 years||§ 12-95(A)(1)|
|Oregon||6 years||§ 12.080|
|Pennsylvania||4 years||§ 5525(a)(8)|
|Rhode Island||10 years||§ 9-1-13(a)|
|South Carolina||3 years||§ 15-3-530(1)|
|South Dakota||6 years||§ 15-2-13(1)|
|Tennessee||6 years||§ 28-3-109(a)(3)|
|Texas||4 years||§ 16.004|
|Utah||6 years||§ 78B-2-309(2)|
|Vermont||6 years||12 V.S.A. § 511|
|Virginia||5 years||§ 8.01-246(2)|
|Washington||6 years||RCW 4.16.040(1)|
|West Virginia||10 years||§ 55-2-6|
|Wisconsin||6 years||§ 893.43(1)|
In determining when to file a potential claim, you should always speak to a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction for time limitations specific to your situation. Statute of limitations periods may be longer or even shorter depending on the specific facts of your case.
How to Write a Breach of Contract Demand Letter
In writing a breach of contract demand letter, you do not have to create a new one from scratch. You can use our template builder for step-by-step instructions.
Following these guidelines can help you write the right demand letter for your situation in no time.
1. Include Party Information
Contract demand letters should include the names, addresses, phone numbers, and other relevant details of the parties. This should include your own contact information and that of any party to the contract, not just the breaching party. If there are additional parties to the contract, it may be appropriate to send a courtesy letter to these parties as well.
2. Add Details About the Breach
Your breach of contract demand letter should list all of the pertinent details of the contract and how the other party breached that contract. Reference specific violated provisions to bolster your argument further and show you are serious.
3. List Potential Cures
Include in the letter what you expect of the breaching party. Specifically, tell the breaching party what you expect in order to fix the problems they have created. The more specific you are about your expectations, the more likely you are to get the result you wish. Details should include a specific deadline date by which the breaching party must comply.
4. Warn of Potential Remedies
In a separate paragraph, include what may occur if the breaching party fails to cure their violations. This should include whether you intend to pursue arbitration or litigation to enforce the contract. If relevant, it should also include any information from the contract that governs where a lawsuit may be filed, or whether alternative dispute resolution requirements exist as a predicate to litigation.
5. Sign the Letter
The party sending the letter should include their name and title, if applicable. The letter should be signed at the bottom by the sending party.
Notice of Breach: Possible Responses
While many demand letters get the other party to comply with the contract, not every party will listen to reason. When they refuse to comply with your demand letter, you may need to take additional actions like those warned of in your breach of contract demand letter. These might include, but are not limited to:
- Termination of the original agreement
- Triggering of breach of contract provisions in the original agreement
- Filing a complaint for breach of contract litigation in court
- Pursuing arbitration or other dispute resolution method
How Can I Send a Demand Letter for Breach of Contract?
You can send a demand letter for breach of contract in several ways.
- Certified Mail. Certified mail requires a signature from the receiving party to prove they got the letter. This is highly recommended for serving demand letters.
- Personal Service. You may choose to have a process server personally hand the demand letter to the recipient. This may be necessary for situations where a party avoids service or is difficult to find.
- Regular U.S. Mail. There is no requirement to send the breach of contract demand letter a certain way, and you can certainly choose to send it via regular U.S. mail. However, this method provides you with no evidence that the breaching party ever received the letter. This could have important ramifications at a later date.