Suffice to say, trying to sell or rid one’s self of something that 400 people are desperate to sell for every 1 person who is interested in buying rarely makes for a quick or easy ride. That said, and recognising that, here are three of the most sensible ways to rid yourself of a timeshare and finally get free of your contract – and do so legally.
Try and Return Your Timeshare to the Resort You Bought It From
First things first: is it ever possible to return a timeshare to the resort you bought it from? Yes, in some instances it is possible to do this. Effectively returning a timeshare to a resort though can only be done in instances where and when, to begin with, a timeshare owner owes no outstanding fees, debts or money to the resort. Hence, whether the outstanding money is in the form of a loan, mortgage, unpaid fees or taxes, it does not matter; if you owe, there is no way you will be able to return the timeshare or that they will take it back.
Secondly, the resort from which you purchased the timeshare must of course accept the return of it. And this is in most cases tricky. Of course, it is simple to ask the resort or company to take the timeshare back. The reality is though that most reply with an emphatic, no – at least initially. Then, you will need to keep asking, which can prove tiring, stressful and ultimately holds no guarantees of succeeding in the end.
The only time a timeshare is often accepted back instantly is when the death of a significant other, bankrupsy or other drastic change in financial situation or circumstances has occurred. This does not mean though that any of these things must have happened to return a timeshare though. The trick is to be persistent. As also advised by the Timeshare Users’ Group, persistence in a significant number of cases does result in a ‘yes’ in the end.
Of course, getting that all important ‘yes’ though is not always the end of a timeshare owner’s nightmare. In fact it can be the beginning in cases where third party companies have masqueraded as resorts to scam timeshare owners into giving their timeshare to them or paying them upfront fees to take a timeshare and then leave owners high and dry. Hence, it is imperative to always ensure you are dealing with who you think you are and never agree to pay any upfront fees.
If You Were Mis-sold Your Timeshare
Timeshare mis-selling is (or was once) so rife within the industry that both the British Government and European Union have since stepped in to change laws, amend legislation and break loop holes used by scrupulous timeshare sales people and companies. Having done so, for many of those who have been mis-sold a timeshare the good news is that there is now scope to end their contrast, and in some cases even claim compensation.
In the bulk of mis-sold timeshare contract cases a timeshare will need to either be deemed void or voidable according to the laws and regulations being used in 2016. Hence, you will need to first establish whether your contract is either and doing so will require the expertise of a solicitor or legal support as timeshare laws and legalities are, as you probably already know too well if you own a timeshare, complex and complicated.
Then, to learn more about illegal timeshare contracts and as well to access legal advice and support to ascertain whether your timeshare was in fact mis-sold, visit the Timeshare Consumer Association website and give their news article: Up to 400,000 Timeshare contracts were made illegally after 1996, a read. Whilst reporting on a specific issue relating to timeshare mis-selling, the article refers to, explains and explores mis-selling and the changes in the law relating to mis-selling in detail. As such, it provides an insightful and illuminating read for anyone attempting to rid themselves of a potentially mis-sold timeshare.
If You Have Purchased Your Timeshare in the Last 14 Days
Last but not least and by far the most simply and surest means of exiting a timeshare contract and doing so without losing a penny: if you have purchased a timeshare within the past 14 days and subsequently changed your mind, you are legally and fully within your right as a consumer to end the contract and have your entire investment amount returned to you.
All that is required of you as a consumer is that you contact the resort from which you purchased the timeshare within the 14 day cooling off period and do so in writing (and preferably also via email to ensure your message reaches its receiver in good time).
You needn’t provide a reason as to why you have changed your mind, and doing so is not advisable as this can open up a dialogue in which a company can attempt to manipulate you or convince you to reconsider. Instead, be clear, concise, firm and polite and ensure you do not exceed the fortnight cooling off period as doing so will effectively obliterate any right you have (or had) to request your money back.
To learn more about the fourteen day cooling off period, why it is in place and more generally your consumer rights when purchasing a timeshare, access and read the official Directive covering these such matters, which you can do via the official European Commission website.