Is your timeshare giving you sleepless nights? It probably did when you first bought it, and no doubt you were informed by your salesperson that this was quite normal and just known as buyer’s remorse. However, it’s probably causing you a lot of sleepless nights now.
Once you got over the initial foreboding of the purchase and paid your monies, you hopefully enjoyed some special holidays, just as you were promised. Unfortunately, now years down the line that purchase has proved to be the proverbial albatross!
There are a multitude of reasons as to why people no longer want their timeshares however very few of the resort owners and management companies have moved with the times to try and assist those owners that find themselves in a desperate position.
In this first article we discuss the most common problems owners experience with their timeshares when they want to be released, the first we will talk about is age and health issues. All too often, we are contacted and told heartbreaking stories where owners are suffering from terminal diseases, or conditions that mean they, or their partners have to go into care, or they become carers for their partners, all very expensive conditions to try and navigate, particularly if you are only on a pension. However, most of the time, their pleas for compassion to the resorts fall on deaf ears. Some resorts have brought in exit policies in order to appear as if they care but the majority of these involve extortionate exit fees; which are either the same amount as the maintenance bills they already receive, or even more. ´Oh but these so generous Resort owners will give you a week’s holiday to use in lieu of your payment´. What part of dying, too ill to travel or simply cannot get away do they not understand!
Second highest on the list of reasons for owners trying to escape from the onerous timeshare agreement is the perpetuity clause. Now, this was most likely sold to you as a benefit, something that your children would be able to use in the future and remember you by. What a lovely thought! Unfortunately, the reality is that your children will not thank you for passing on this debt. This is a contract that your children were not a party to, and quite possibly made even before they were born. They do not want to be liable for the maintenance fees, which at the time of purchase were in the region of £60 a week and are now probably in excess of £500 – £1000 per week. How can it be acceptable that this contract automatically gets passed on? So many owners tell us that if the long-term implications of the perpetuity clause had been explained to them correctly, they would never have signed. In Spain the Supreme Court has ruled that contracts in excess of 50 years are illegal, however the biggest offender with these perpetuity contracts are UK Resorts, who refuse to accept responsibility for either the sales persons tactics or the effect this is having on their elderly owner database. Some UK resorts have taken elderly, even octogenarians, to court for these maintenance fees, surely the original purchase price and the subsequent years fees should be enough, all they want is for the resort to take the unit back & sell it on. They do not want any proceeds, just the peace of mind that they no longer have the debt and are not going to pass it on. One small glimmer of hope; when you are writing your will, you must ensure that any timeshares come under a separate clause and are not grouped in with any other assets. This then gives the benefactors the option to refuse that clause, i.e. the timeshare(s) without affecting the rest of the will.
If the above issues apply to you please contact us so we can advise you how to get your contract cancelled as soon as possible, as already discussed, it is highly unlikely that your timeshare company will be willing to assist you, and usually make it difficult to exit, in order to keep receiving the maintenance fees.