How to get out of owning a timeshare without getting scammed?
Timeshares used to be the big thing in the Eighties for Britons. They were meant to give you a guaranteed holiday at a location you shared the cost for with other people. However, with annual fees increasing and many of those who originally bought the timeshare ageing, it has become a cost people can no longer afford.
This leaves many people wanting to sell their timeshare or exit their contract. But getting rid of unwanted timeshares is very difficult as few buyers will take them on. This can leave desperate people falling for the lies of cold callers who promise to help them out – but they fail to deliver. In some cases, these people offer to buy the owners out of the contract or sell the timeshare for an upfront cash fee. However, the people who fall for these false claims often find themselves giving up the money and never hearing from these ‘firms’ again, or having to cough up more cash once a buyer has been found.
Despite these scary stories, there are safe ways to get out of a timeshare contract without losing large sums of money. You can go directly to the company and ask for them to help you sell it on, often for a cost, or contact a solicitor if you think there is an issue with your contract. Read on for our helpful tips, backed by our expert knowledge, on how you can exit a timeshare you no longer want.
If your contract is legal, your best chance of getting out of the timeshare is by telling the resort or firm that you are old or unwell and therefore unable to travel. You can also confess that you no longer have the money to pay for it. The timeshare company is then likely to have an in-house resale scheme or some other resale process. They will most likely charge you for transferring ownership.
When considering the price, your timeshare will sell for you need to be realistic. The value will depend on a range of factors including your product, location, time of year, size and facilities. Timeshare is a long-term holiday purchase and not a financial investment, so you won’t obtain the purchase price or anywhere near it. If you are unwilling to accept this, it will be tough for you to sell it on.
Your Contract Could be Illegal
If you hire a solicitor, they may be able to find a loophole within your contract that makes it invalid and illegal. This isn’t uncommon, and many people have won their cases against timeshare companies to prove this. There could be specific clauses that have become invalid over time or have recently been ruled against the law. Read on for some examples that your solicitor should look out for. They could be a way for you to get out of owning your timeshare, saving you lots of money in the future.
Timeshare contracts that exceed a fifty-year contract term are known as ‘in perpetuity’, and they are also now illegal. There have also been cases where the contract does not specify an end date and also declared ‘in perpetuity’ as it insinuates there is no end, therefore passing the 50 year period. In these cases, claimants have won compensation for their illegal timeshare contract, their legal fees paid and allowed to exit their timeshare contract for good.
Floating Weeks and Timeshare Points
Some contracts with floating weeks and point-based systems are starting to be ruled as illegal. This is very complicated so contacting a solicitor who can explain to you where the points-based or floating week system of your timeshare is breaching the law is wise. If it is, they can then advise you on how to proceed.
The reason floating weeks and points-based systems are no under legal scrutiny is because they leave members facing great difficulty in booking a holiday, even two years in advance. This is a common problem as timeshare companies can manipulate the system and priority booking is often offered to non-members above paying customers with the aim of getting the non-members to sign up for the timeshare. So, with more people signing up and trying to access these timeshares during the holidays, the more people find themselves having to settle for lesser quality holidays during a time that is inconvenient for them. This is upsetting for these people after they have paid lots of money for a luxury timeshare holiday.
The cooling-off period is fourteen days where the consumer has the legal right to have time to think over their decision regarding the timeshare. In instances where this has not been upheld, i.e. money has been taken, or the signee wasn’t given the opportunity to change their mind, the contract is ruled null and void. The signee can then be returned double the amount they paid in compensation. If you were unaware this period even existed (the timeshare company didn’t inform you) or you the period was not upheld, tell your solicitor so they can advise you on how to move forward to acquire compensation and get out of the timeshare contract.
Do you have a timeshare you no longer want? Don’t fall for the cold callers and false firms offering you a too-good-to-be-true way to get out of your timeshare. They can ask for upfront cash and never contact you again. Instead, contact us, and we can check over your contract and look for invalid clauses or loopholes that can help you leave the timeshare.