Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of people trapped in timeshare agreements which they seemingly can’t get out of, causing not only financial worries but also emotional distress.
Many timeshare contracts claim to be ‘in perpetuity’, essentially meaning that they cannot be cancelled, and last for the timeshare owner’s lifetime.
So is there any way you can legally get out of one of these agreements? Read on for a quick guide to some of the options available.
Obviously, the ideal situation is that you would be able to fully cancel the timeshare contract, however, this is often easier said than done.
First and foremost, timeshare law is a very complex and tricky subject, and we would recommend taking professional advice before taking this route, either from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or from a specialist body such as the Timeshare Consumer Association.
Essentially, if you can prove that you can no longer afford your timeshare, if the conditions of the contract have changed, or you feel that you were mis-sold the timeshare, then you may have a case to legally challenge the contract, and have it dissolved.
Sometimes this will mean you’ll simply be able to stop paying your fees, but in others, it might mean that you need to come to some sort of arrangement, such as paying a year’s worth of fees in order to be released.
Cooling Off Period
Something else which is worth bearing in mind is that timeshares must be sold with a ‘cooling off period’, usually of two weeks, during which time you can legally exit the timeshare without incurring any costs or fees.
This means that if you act quickly, this is by far the easiest way for you to exit your timeshare.
If legally cancelling your timeshare isn’t an option, then you may have to look into selling it on, but this can be trickier than it seems.
For starters, there are far more people trying to sell timeshares than there are trying to buy, meaning that their value drops considerably from what they were initially bought for, and finding a buyer at all can be a struggle.
Additionally, there’s always the risk of running into scammers, with many fraudulent companies operating in the timeshare resale market.
If you do try to sell your timeshare on, be sure never to make any upfront payments to companies who promise to sell your timeshare, or claim to have found a buyer for it.
For more information on timeshare scams and how to avoid them, check out this post from scambusters.org.
Part-Exchange or Convert
If you do still want to take regular holidays but are unhappy with your timeshare product, it might be easier to part-exchange or convert it for another option.
For example, if you used to holiday with children but they’ve now grown up, or are simply looking for something a bit cheaper, it’s worth trying to work with your timeshare seller to see if you can work something out for a smaller or cheaper property, or perhaps for a slot which isn’t during the peak season.
This isn’t necessarily a solution for everybody, but it could save you the hassle of navigating the resale market or entering a long legal battle.