If you’ve been mis-sold a timeshare, it can be easy to feel like you’re trapped, with no way out of a contract which you never really wanted in the first place.
However, fear not, because no matter what a timeshare company may try to tell you, there is a way out of your timeshare agreement, especially with rafts of new legislation coming into effect.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the ways in which you can legally exit your timeshare agreement.
Cooling Off Period
Every timeshare agreement is subject to a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period, during which time you’re entitled to cancel the timeshare without incurring any costs.
To do this, all you need to do is confirm your cancellation in writing within the period. You don’t need to give a reason for your cancellation, and the agreement should be cancelled fully.
Unfortunately, for the majority of people, this period will have passed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t exit your timeshare.
The most beneficial, but by far the hardest, way to get out of your timeshare is to sell it on to someone else.
This means that the timeshare and the fees associated with it will be off your hands, and you’ll receive some or all of the fee that you paid for it back.
However, the issue here is that the timeshare resale market is at an all-time low, with far more people looking to sell than are looking to buy, meaning that if you do manage to find a buyer, you’ll probably only receive a fraction of the amount that you paid for the property.
If you do try to sell your timeshare, be sure to do so through a legitimate broker, as there are many scammers posing as brokers, as you can see in this post from Consumer Reports.
Hand Back to the Resort
Some resorts and timeshare companies will offer to take the timeshare back from you, although in these instances you likely won’t receive any money back for the property, and will simply be relieving yourself of the fees which come with it.
Often these are only offered to certain owners, such as those who are over 75, unable to travel or are bankrupt/otherwise unable to pay for the property.
You may also be able to trade in your points or weeks at your timeshare for ones at a different resort if this is something which would appeal to you.
The Legal Route
If all other options have been exhausted, then the only route available to you may be to simply stop paying your fees.
Of course, this entails a lot of risk, as the timeshare company will likely threaten legal action.
However, in the majority of cases, they actually won’t have much right to do so, as with a bit of digging, the timeshare firms are often in breach of the contract, and once challenged on this, will drop any potential legal action.
This is all very complex legal territory of course, and it’s never recommended that you refuse to pay without getting some expert advice beforehand.
We recommend getting in touch with the Timeshare Consumer Association, who are experts in the field of timeshare legislation and offer impartial advice to those trying to exit their contracts.