Three Ways to Legally Exit Your Timeshare Contract
All too often, people head into timeshare contracts without truly knowing what they’re getting into, only to regret their decision further down the line.
This is usually down to the ‘hard sell’ approach taken by many timeshare salespeople, including the offering of various free gifts and pressurised presentation environments.
Even for those who think they know what they’re getting into, many suddenly realise that a timeshare isn’t for them once they realise the many fees and assessment charges which they have to pay once they’ve signed.
With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at three ways in which you can legally exit your timeshare.
Exit during the cooling off period
All timeshare contracts should provide you with a cancellation (or ‘cooling off’) period, during which you can cancel the contract completely, which is ideal if you’ve come to quite a quick realisation.
To terminate the contract, you’ll need to provide notice to the timeshare company in writing, including all the important information such as your own personal and contact details, a description of the timeshare, when it was purchased and a statement saying that you are cancelling the contract.
The contract should also provide specific details on how this letter/email should be delivered, so be sure to follow these to the letter.
Bear in mind that if the contract doesn’t contain a cancellation period, this could be ground for cancellation in itself, as this should be provided.
Seek legal advice
If your cancellation date has expired, then don’t fear, as despite what the timeshare companies may tell you, there are still ways in which you can terminate the contract, as long as you feel you have been mis-sold the property, or unfairly pressured into committing to it.
While timeshare consumer laws can be complex, there are groups such as the Timeshare Consumer Association who exist to help people in these situations, with a detailed knowledge of this niche area of the law.
There are a number of reasons you may be able to legally terminate a timeshare contract, and usually refer to deceptive, unfair or fraudulent sales tactics,
You may hear terms such as ‘in perpetuity’ and ‘no cancellation’ regarding timeshare contracts, but this isn’t the case.
As you can see in this article from the Telegraph, there have been a number of cases which have ruled that such clauses are null and void and that those who have been stuck in then have been released and even granted refunds.
Sell the Timeshare
While it might seem straightforward to sell your timeshare on to somebody else, unfortunately, it’s rarely anything but.
There are far more people trying to sell timeshares than there are looking to buy, and as such, it can be a real struggle.
Even if you do manage to sell the property it will likely be at a big loss, with this article from ThisIsMoney.co.uk claiming that some struggle to sell for as little as 99p!
You may even have to consider gifting the timeshare to a friend or relative (in which case at least you can still enjoy using it) or donating it to a charity, simply to free yourself of the fees that you’re tied into, although this will be a last resort.