Right so I'll try to keep most of my frustration out of this question ;)
I purchased a bank draft to pay for a vacation rental - the agreement was cash on arrival, but as I didn't have access to EUR on short notice and didn't want to be bothered with figuring out getting large amounts of cash on my first day in a foreign country this seemed like the next best thing. I showed up at my rental place, gave the draft to the landlord, everyone was happy. Unfortunately the landlord lost the document before cashing it, and it is presumed to be somewhere in his house (or possibly recycled...).
I've done my research and my bank tells me that they can refund me for the draft, minus a relatively small fee which the landlord has agreed to deduct from my balance owing for the rest of my stay. Vexingly, the draft has no expiration date and the form I need to sign to get my refund essentially states that if the draft is ever found and cashed, I will be (re-)charged for the amount.
There aren't any other indications that the landlord is trying to cheat me here, and if it comes to it I could come to terms with just signing the form and accepting the risk, but I'd rather have some recourse if possible. The only DIY solution I've managed to come up with is to ask them to go purchase a draft in my name for the same amount, hand it to me, sign a similar form to get a refund, and I'll promise never to cash it, which basically puts everyone on equal footing. However, this is not free or friendly, and given that being on good terms with my host will make the rest of my stay more enjoyable, and that really he seems very nice and I'd rather not push for that sort of solution, I'm hoping to come up with something else.
Does anyone know of something I could get the payee to sign that would hopefully give me some recourse if the draft was ever cashed? I could just draft something myself I suppose, but some kind of recognized form would probably be better. If it's relevant, I am Canadian (as is my bank) and the payee is German (as is his bank). The draft is worth 1100EUR, so anything that involves me spending any substantial fraction of that on e.g. a lawyer/notary isn't worth it.
I'm staying at the same place for another month, and getting the indemnity form signed, mailed back to Canada and processed will take probably a couple of weeks, so I have a bit of time to work with. I also still owe the landlord for the last month of my stay, due on the last day, so I'm not yet "backed into a corner", so to speak.
FWIW, if you ever hand someone a bank draft, tell them "consider this cash, don't lose it". Might save you some trouble...