When the timeshare model was first devised timesharingwas advertised as an ‘investment opportunity’. In fact, one of the major reasons timeshares were bought up so quickly and readily by so many people was that timeshares were specifically marketed towards providing those otherwise unable to afford to invest in property an opportunity to do so. Hence, it wasn’t just or simply the perceived idea that owning a timeshare could earn owners money in the longterm or a great holidaying experience; owning a timeshare was seen to buy ‘investors’ social status.
Fast forward to 2017 though and if you are reading this, the chances are that you already know (and probably all too well) that timeshares did not only fail to live up to their name as ‘investments’; further, the industry rapidly became saturated with scammers and has never since recovered; today, the timeshare industry is a ghosttown haunted by owners seemingly trapped in the timeshare limbo that prevents them from escaping their timeshare agreement.
In an attempt to help as many of those facing this reality as possible, and provide some hope, here is a quick guide to exiting your timeshare contract.
Act Within the Cooling Off Period
If you are one of the few people to have only recently entered into a timeshare agreement, there may be a relatively easy and straight forward cancelation option open to you.
All timeshares sold in 2017 are so along with the agreement that buyers are afforded a fourteen day ‘cooling off period’ in which they can decide to exit the agreement without penalty. This legislation is legally standing in both the UK and Europe and has been put in place in an attempt to protect timeshare buyers from the myriad of ‘pushy’ timeshare sales people out there attempting to sell what is today a commodity with little consumer appeal.
To learn more about your rights regarding the purchase of a timeshare and cooling off periods as well as how to assert those rights and so exit your agreement, give the Citizens’ Advice Bureau PDF Can You cancel It? a read. You can also seek further advice and support from the Citizen Advice Bureau by dropping into their local offices or visiting them online via the CAB website.
Alternatively, or for more specialist advice, refer to the Timeshare Consumer Association website. The Timeshare Consumer Association website also features its own guide: How to Cancel a Timeshare which provides step by step instructions as to how to act upon your rights within the ‘cooling off period’.
Returning a Timeshare
The most common and as well one of the only means of returning a timeshare legally to the ownership of the company from which you purchased it is referred to and known as a ‘deedback’.
In summary, a deedback is very simple – at least in theory; it is the term used to describe an agreement by which you (a timeshare owner) legally return the deed of ownership for a timeshare to the company from which it was originally purchased. Further, deedback agreements are agreed in certain circumstances, entirely freeing you from your timeshare contract.
That is the good news. The (potentially) bad news is that few timeshare companies are happy or willing to instantly agree to or accept a deedback agreement; a company would much rather continue to receive your annual fees on a property, of course. This is especially true given that the timeshare resale market is so weak in 2017.
That said, many timeshare owners have ultimately been successful in their attempts to perform a deedback. The trick is persistence, and of course knowing how to go about contacting and speaking with the company in question. Then, to learn how to do this (and do it successfully), first refer to and familiarise yourself with the information contained in the Timeshare Deedback Guide published via the Timeshare User Group website.
Selling a Timeshare
Almost all timeshare owners dream of selling their timeshare, and understandably so; selling a timeshare is one of the most financially lucrative means of ridding one’s self of a timeshare agreement.
Unfortunately, selling a timeshare is also one of the most improbable and difficult means of ridding one’s self of a timeshare; even those who manage it often spend years trying to do so and with it go on paying annual fees on a timeshare before finding buyer. Further, almost all of those who successfully sell a timeshare sell for a fraction of what they paid for it, disregarding all those years spent paying fees.
None the less, for those still interested in exploring their resale options in regards to their timeshare, the Timeshare Hypermarket is a good place to turn for both advice and as well assistance. Just be aware, most of those who opt to sell a timeshare end up reselling to a company for little to nothing or paying fees to a company who then and in return find a buyer for them. Hence, selling your timeshare could stand to cost you more financially and in terms of stress and effort than simply calling it quits, and returning or gifting a timeshare, ultimately.
Rent Out Your Timeshare
An alternative to selling a timeshare (for those determined to turn their timeshare into a real investment) is to consider renting it out.
Whilst few people in 2017 desire to own or take on the legal, financial and long term responsibilities that come with owning a timeshare, there is still a healthy market and number of people willing to rent a timeshare. Whilst this enables people and families to holiday abroad at an affordable price, it also enables timeshare owners to pay off their annual fees and often make a little more as well. Not all timeshare agreements allow for owners to rent out their timeshare though, so ahead of looking into this option, refer to your own specific timeshare agreement to avoid wasting your time or getting your hopes up.
Meanwhile,for those whose timeshare contracts do not prohibit renting their timeshare out, give the Worldwide Timeshare Exchange website a visit, via which you can advertise your timeshare to rent. Alternatively, timeshare owners can also exchange their timeshare with other timeshare owners enabling timeshare owners to potentially turn owning a timeshare into a positive and modern holidaying experience, as this enables timeshare owners from all over the world to holiday in new and different places each year.
Voiding a Timeshare Agreement
Last but not least, there has been in recent years an increasing number of cases and instances in which it has become apparent that timeshare contracts have in fact been issued which are not legally binding or which fail to meet the requirements of UK and European law. If or when this is deemed the case, in most circumstances timeshare owners are alleviated of their agreement. In some cases timeshare owners are even awarded compensation.
Hence, it is well worth exploring whether your timeshare agreement is in fact legally binding, and if not what you can do to exit it – and possibly even recoup some of your financial losses. Then, and to learn more, refer to The Telegraph Newspaper article: Timeshare horrors: fresh hope for 100,000 people locked in costly contracts.