Three Ways to Legally Exit a Timeshare Contract

While most people probably feel like they would never be fooled or tricked into buying a timeshare, you’d be surprised at how quickly they can begin to sound like a good idea once you’re in the thick of a sales presentation in a sunny resort (perhaps with a couple of cocktails down you).

However, a couple of years down the line, that timeshare can begin to feel like less of a good idea, when you’re saddled with inflated maintenance fees or are perhaps getting tired of travelling to the same location year in, year out. So, how can you legally exit your timeshare contract?

Sell via a broker

The most obvious and financially beneficial way to sell your timeshare would be to sell it on to someone else.

However, trying to sell your timeshare can be a lot easier said than done. The market is so oversaturated with people trying to sell their timeshares that they vastly outstrip those who are wishing to buy, meaning if they do sell at all, it’s at a big loss.

There are timeshare brokers out there who will help you to try and find a buyer, although it’s definitely worth being cautious if you take this route.

Not only might you find it a struggle to sell, but there is also a proliferation of scammers, who pose as brokers, promising to have found you a buyer, but who will actually just disappear with your money.

Remember: if anyone ever cold calls you claiming to have found you a buyer and asking you for a fee upfront, you should be immediately wary.

For more information about timeshare resale scams, check out this interesting article from Consumer Reports.


Donate or Transfer

Unfortunately, if you struggle to get a fee back for your timeshare property, you might have to think about giving it away for free.

While you obviously won’t be receiving a fee for the property, the fact that you’d be freeing yourself of the maintenance fees can be motivation enough for people to give their timeshares away for free.

So what are your options? One way which could be a good idea is to transfer your property over to someone such as a family member or friend so that you can still enjoy the property.

However, if you cannot find someone willing to take the timeshare off your hands, there are also some charitable organisations which will take the property and then auction weeks off to raise funds.

Seek a legal escape

When all else fails, your best option can sometimes be to seek legal advice.

While timeshare companies will often have you believe that your timeshare contract is ‘in perpetuity’, which essentially means it lasts for the entirety of your lifetime.

The fact of the matter is that when threatened with legal action, most timeshare companies will actually usually release you from the contract.

Essentially, you will have a case to terminate your contract if it has been mis-sold to you in any way.

This means if the timeshare company have misrepresented the property either in their sales presentation or the contract itself, then you may have a case.

We would recommend either getting in touch with the Citizens Advice Bureau or a timeshare specialist such as TESS (Timeshare Exit & Support Services).