It might seem bizarre in 2016 to think something such as a timeshare contract could be so tricky to exit, and yet for the myriads of current timeshare owners out there facing this very reality it is not just bizarre, but a real life nightmare.
There have even been instances in which timeshare contracts have outlived their owners, leaving their spouse’s and families facing bankruptcy – as one such spouse tells in this Daily Mail article.
Then what hope is there for timeshare owners? Fortunately, for most at least, there is some. To prove that and hopefully provide some form of escape, here are 5 ways to legally exit a timeshare contract and information as to how to go about doing so.
1# Sell It
Is it possible to sell a timeshare in 2016? Technically, yes. Is it easy to sell a timeshare in 2016? Not often.
Unless by some stroke of luck you happen to know somebody who is willing and eager to buy your timeshare, the likelihood is that your timeshare will linger on the market indefinitely.
The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds upon hundreds of would-be timeshare sellers for every single person or couple looking to buy. Then, and whilst you attempt to bag that elusive offer, you might want to read on and discover what your other options are.
2# Act Fast
The luckiest of the bunch when it comes to timeshares are definitely those who have only owned their timeshare for a matter of days – less than fourteen days in fact.
That is, here in the UK, the law states that if you have purchased a timeshare within the last two weeks you are fully within you right to cancel that purchase without incurring any financial penalty. This means that you can request a refund (in full) and walk away unburdened and unscathed.
Further, you are not legally required to provide a reason for your decision. Rather, all you need to do is put your request in writing and act within the fourteen day cooling off period.
3# Give It Up
Another way to legally rid oneself of a timeshare is to simply give it back to the resort, company or holiday club from whom or which you purchased it in the first place. Again, all you need to do is put your request in writing.
Initially some holiday clubs will refuse to accept the timeshare back. When this happens and as advised via the Timeshare User Group website, it is well worth pushing your request rather than simply accepting there is nothing you can do; many companies will relent when pushed, but might only do so under the proviso that the timeshare is returned for nothing.
Hence, whilst this is one potential and legal means of freeing yourself from having to keep affording ongoing annual fees, it is unlikely to see any of the money you initially paid to purchase your timeshare returned to you. Further, and finally, you will be unable to return a timeshare on which you have outstanding debt or unpaid fees.
4# Give It Away
As the Timeshare Counsel are quick to warn timeshare owners: ‘Giving a timeshare away might seem as easy as finding a recipient, but there can be a lot of fees hiding in that transaction. Whether it’s updating the records or creating a legal transfer, all of these things cost money.’ Hence, when possible it is worth attempting to seek out those wishing to purchase a timeshare and offering to gift it to them for nothing if they agree to cover any legal costs which might be incurred.
5# Void It
Last but by no means least, one legal way to rid yourself of a timeshare agreement and one that has in recent years saved thousands of people from their nightmare and even potential bankruptcy is to find out whether your contract is even in actual fact legally binding in 2016.
Changes to UK and International law after the number of instances of mis-selling and underhand selling tactics identified in the timeshare industry mean that even if your timeshare was not ‘voidable’ a year or ten ago, it might well be now.
Further, a fraction of those able to void or null their agreement now have also been awarded compensation. Hence, it is well worth discovering whether your contract can be exited on these grounds. To learn how, head over to the Timeshare Consumer Association website where you can read their advice: How to Cancel a Timeshare.