Timeshare Exit: Your Rights
Exiting your timeshare agreement
It’s probably not new news to you that leaving a timeshare agreement can be a difficult process. If you have already started trying to exit your contract you may well have already run into barriers in the complicated process that is timeshare. As with any agreement or contract, there are rules and regulations that you must follow as part of the timeshare deal, and if these rules get broken by one of the parties within the agreement then the other side has the right to rescind, or in other words, cancel the deal. It is important to understand contract law and the rules of your agreement. Understanding this will help you understand your rights within your timeshare contract so that you know where you stand if something changes or if you do decide you want to exit.
Whilst there are ways to exit your timeshare contract legally through finding misrepresentations or breaches of contract, we would always advise you to seek the help of an expert to ensure that you don’t flaunt any of the conditions of the contract which could leave you legally in the wrong and out of pocket. Although it can be very complicated, below we’ll run through some of the issues of contract law and misrepresentation that may be relevant to you being successful with your claim or, with exiting your timeshare contract. A timeshare solicitor can expertly help you unpick these rules and regulations and advise you on your legal rights to help you successfully exit your timeshare.
So, what is Contract Law?
Simply put, in a common law legal system such as the UK, a contract is essentially an agreement between two or more people who have entered into it voluntarily, and this in turn, becomes a legally enforceable promise. The basic premise is that both parties will agree to keep the promises they have made within the contract. There are three relatively simple stages to a contract for it to be legal and these are ‘offer’ and ‘acceptance’ by ‘competent persons’ who have the capacity to enter the contract, and ‘consideration’ which is the payment or value of the mutually agreed contract. These agreements can be in writing or orally either in part or in full and if either party then breaks the contract that has been agreed this will be classed as a ‘breach of contract’. A breach of contract can result in compensation for damages or specific performance whereby a court can order the party to complete on or carry out a specific task – if it can be successfully argued that there has indeed been a breach.
There are different types of contract in the UK, such as a gentleman’s agreement which is one that isn’t intended to be legally binding or enforceable. Not every agreement is necessarily contractual either – all the parties generally must have the intention to be legally bound and there are different principles regarding ‘freedom of contract’ – in the UK a high degree of freedom is usually expected. If a person signs a timeshare contract, even if they have not fully read the terms and conditions, then they are legally bound to the contract. However, there are circumstances such as being under duress which could make the contract void. Again, experts in law, particularly timeshare law will be able to sift through your contract to unpick any issues of legality within it.
What does this mean for timeshare?
When it comes to timeshare, there is always a contract and this is usually simply between the timeshare company and the owner of the timeshare. Often, one party (usually the buyer of the timeshare) may well believe that the original rules or agreements set out in the contract have been breached. For example, promised standards or expected resort quality may consistently be falling short at the resort. If this can be proven to be the case then this could result in a breach of contract and give you the right to exit your contract, and/ or make a claim.
It could also be the case that elements of the timeshare or contract were misrepresented to the buyer. Misrepresentation is where a false statement of fact has been made by one party to the other and this has resulted in inducing or convincing them to sign up to the deal or contract. For example, a timeshare salesperson may make unrealistic promises or false promises about the quality of the resort or the nature of the package the buyer will receive upon payment. They may not fully explain the maintenance fees that will be payable each year or make any number of claims that are untrue. In these circumstances the contract may well be able to be rescinded and the buyer legally allowed to exit their timeshare.
In certain cases within timeshare, we have found that some timeshare companies have ‘made up’ terms and conditions as the original contracts are silent as to terms and conditions which should have been provided. If new terms are introduced that were not originally agreed by both parties that benefit the timeshare company but deprive the buyer of rights which they previously enjoyed this will be deemed unfair. This could also result in a ruling that the contract has been breached and allow an exit of the agreement.
What are my next steps?
Get in touch with Athena Law today for professional, friendly advice that you can really trust. Our team of dedicated, expert timeshare solicitors will work closely with you to carefully consider your case and advise you on your legal rights. We have years of experience in this industry and many success stories for clients who have been in your position, and we may be able to help you too. We promise to beat any quote you are given and if we feel there are strong grounds for your case we may be willing to represent you on a no win no fee basis.
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