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Letter for Return of Personal Property: How To, Templates & Examples

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What is a demand for the return of a personal property letter?

It is not uncommon for a person to come in possession of a property that belongs to you. You have seen it happen with familial property or company property. A demand letter is a correspondence that shows good faith on your part while trying to recover your property. Though not exactly a legal document, it displays your good intent to a court of law.

It can be produced in a court of law as proof of cooperation. If the situation arises that the issue lands in court, the judge will consider the letter as your willingness to resolve the issue amicably. It is advantageous to first write a demand for return letter, before you file a formal complaint. If resolved, it will cost you lesser money and time.

When and why do you write a demand for the return of a personal property letter?

You can dispatch a demand for return of personal property letter if your verbal appeals have borne no fruit. It is simply the next logical step before you take a legal action. Anyone who has kept a property that belongs to you, without your permission, is thieving. It could be a person you know personally or a person with whom you only have business transactions.

A demand for return of personal property letter is sent with the intention of repossessing your property without legal intervention. This is a measure you take to solve an issue harmoniously with everyone’s best interest at heart.

Tips to write a powerful demand letter for return of personal property

  • Be precise about what property you want to repossess: Do not lose sight of the goal of the letter. Lucidly, let the recipient know what property you are referring to.
  • Establish that the property belongs to you: It is important to mention by what way the property undisputedly belongs to you. Explain how you came into possession of it, if necessary.
  • State that you want it returned in no uncertain terms: Avoid any ambiguity that arises from using long sentences. Keep it crisp and clear.
  • Be firm but polite: It is necessary that you use no unparliamentary words. Ensure civility though some level of hostility is acceptable.
  • Sign the letter with your name as it appears in official records: There have been cases where disputes did not end as predicted. This was only because the parties involved did not sign their names consistently.
  • Write it like you expect to defend it in a court of law: A demand to return property letter is a precursor to a lawsuit. Expect to find yourself explaining the letter to a judge. Ensure that it is a reflection of your attempt at courteous reconciliation.
  • Provide the recipient a set deadline: A vital part of the demand letter is to set a deadline for the return of your property. Clearly state how much time you will allow the recipient before you pursue a legal course.
  • State that you will pursue a legal course if the recipient fails to restitute the property: Be prepared to take the matter to court if the receiver fails to comply. Stand by your demand firmly.
  • Take a copy of the letter for future references: It is advisable to keep a copy of the letter as sent to the recipient. You may need to produce it in court in case the other party claims not to have received the letter.

Sample letters

Here are a few free sample letters you can modify and use as you see fit. These are written for some common scenarios but can be refashioned as necessary.

1. Reclaim property from an encroacher

Encroaching a piece of land in the absence of its owner is a tale as old as time. If you find yourself in this position, feel free to use the sample below.

Your name

Your address

Date

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Receiver’s name)

Subject: Demand to return personal property

This is to inform you that you are in illegal possession of the land at (the address of the property). The land deed asserting that it belongs to me is attached herewith. You are seen to be using the land for your private purposes without my consent and in my absence.

I demand that you cease to use my land forthwith. I shall allow you a time frame of one week from the delivery of this letter to vacate my property. Your failure to comply with my demand will lead to a legal course of eviction.

I earnestly believe that it is in both of our interests to resolve this issue amicably.

Hoping for a quick resolution.

Yours sincerely

Your signature

[Your full name]

Sample #1 for Powerful Demand Letter for Return of Personal Property
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2. Reclaim property from a member of your family

It is a little trickier to reclaim property from a family member than it is from a common encroacher. You will have to establish how you came into the possession of the property.

Your name

Your address

Date

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Receiver’s name)

Subject: Demand to return personal property

I regret to inform you that the piece of land being used as your parking lot rightfully belongs to me. It was legally transferred to my name since grandpa’s demise. I have attached the land deed proving the same herewith.

I request that you refrain from using my land to save us both time, money and effort.

I expect you to have shifted the parking spot in a week’s time. That is by (date). In failing to do so, you will be evoking legal consequences.

Hoping for an amicable and quick resolution.

Yours sincerely

Your signature

[Your official name]

Sample #2 for Powerful Demand Letter for Return of Personal Property

3. Recover personal belongings from employer

Being fired without notice is more common than you would expect. The company does not have any right over your personal property once you are fired, though it is in their premises. Here is a sample of a demand letter to exhibit how you can ask for your chattels that have remained in the office.

Your name

Your address

Date

Dear Mr. / Ms. (HR manager’s name)

Subject: Demand to return personal property

This is to bring to your notice that my personal effects have remained in the office and my access to the same is cut off. I was relieved of my duties on (date of resignation/ dismissal). Having no access to my desk since the aforementioned date, I am unable to collect my valuable personal belongings.

I urge you to allow me access to ensure the retrieval of my property. I expect to collect my possessions within five working days of the delivery of this letter. In failing to do so, I will be forced to resort to legal means to repossess items that rightfully belong to me.

With both of our interests in mind, I hope that I will receive a favorable reply.

Sincerely

Your signature

[Your full name]

Sample #3 for Powerful Demand Letter for Return of Personal Property

4. Recover the contents of a seized vehicle

The authorities are only entitled to your vehicle and its market cost at the time of seizing it. Any and all personal items within the vehicle are still your property. You can find yourself running from pillar to post to retrieve your belongings. Use this sample letter as a prelude to a more legally binding step.

Your name

Your address

Date

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Manager’s name)

Subject: Demand to return personal property

This is to let you know you are in illegal possession of my personal effects present in my vehicle of registration number (your vehicle’s registration number). The personal property in the vehicle seized remains out of your legal possession, and I am its lawful owner.

I demand that you hand over my belongings to me at your expense. I expect to repossess my effects within the next week i.e (the date). Your failure to comply with this demand will result in a legal action against your company.

Consider this as a precursor to a lawsuit. Might I remind you that it is in our common interest to settle this matter amongst ourselves, before it reaches the desk of a judge.

Sincerely

Your signature

[Your full name]

Sample #4 for Powerful Demand Letter for Return of Personal Property

5. Recover property from former business partner

You are not alone if you have fallen out with your business partner. If that person is in possession of any property that you have explicitly invested in, you can reclaim it to be yours. Use the below sample to send a demand letter to a former business partner and refashion it to suit your needs.

Your name

Your address

Date

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Former partner’s name)

Subject: Demand to return personal property

I hereby assert that you are in felonious possession of my personal property. Your proprietorship of the following property (list of the possessions) is both illegal and amoral. I have paid the full cost for the aforementioned assets and so am its/ their legal owner.

I request you to return the property in good faith. I am willing to allow you a window of 1 week from the day of delivery of this letter to do so. Any oversight on this matter will solicit legal procedures against you.

It is in our shared interest to resolve this matter out of the court.

I wish you success in your future endeavors.

Sincerely

Your signature

[Your official name]

Sample #5 for Powerful Demand Letter for Return of Personal Property

6. Recover property from former spouse

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One of the most common property recovery situations involves a former romantic partner. Be exceptionally courteous to the recipient and clearly establish the undeniable ownership of the property. Use the following sample to address such a situation with poise and cordiality. Modify it as need be.

Your name

Your address

Date

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Former partner’s name)

Subject: Demand to return illegally possessed personal property

This is a correspondence to inform you of your illegitimate possession of my personal property. The following property/ properties (list of your personal effects) is my rightful effects. I have paid for the property/ properties in full and so lay claim to it/ them.

I request you to return the effects within one week from the delivery of this letter. In failing to do so, I will be forced to pursue a legal course of action. I earnestly hope to resolve this issue amongst ourselves. It is in our shared interest to do so.

Wishing you well for your future.

Sincerely

Your signature

[Your official name]

Sample #6 for Powerful Demand Letter for Return of Personal Property

7. Recovery of rental or leased property

If you own a rental agency you are familiar with clients not returning rented or leased property. It is all too common for them to begin using it without paying for the service. Any possession or use of property without consent of the owner is considered a theft. You have the legal upper hand in such a situation. Below is a sample to tackle such an issue with the right amount of deft and professionalism.

Your name

Your address

Date

Dear Mr. / Ms. (Your client’s name)

Subject: Demand to return illegally possessed personal property

I hereby inform you that you are in unlawful possession of the following property (name the rented/ leased property). The rental/ lease agreement is attached herewith to establish my legitimate ownership of the mentioned property. The document also exhibits your agreement to use the property for a fixed amount of time.

Considering that you have exceeded the time limit, I demand that you return the property with due diligence. I will provide you with a week’s time to comply with this demand. Your nonconformity to this letter will result in legal actions taken against you.

I hope to be able to settle this matter amicably.

Sincerely

Your signature

[Your official name]

Sample #7 for Powerful Demand Letter for Return of Personal Property

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