Although timeshares are a legally binding contract, it’s not impossible to get out of them. Many people buy timeshares in a misguided attempt to make an investment, but more often than not they end up with what is essentially a money sponge, taking up more of their income than they can afford.
Because the timeshare market is so saturated with more people looking to sell than to buy, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to sell your timeshare and even more unlikely that you’ll be able to sell it on for the price at which you bought it.
This leaves many timeshare owners stuck between a rock and a hard place, desperately trying to find a way to rid themselves of their burden. This can be a tricky legal battle but it can be won, so if you’re in this difficult situation, here’s a quick guide to the legal side of exiting your timeshare contract.
Although selling your timeshare contract is the best possible outcome, it’s an endlessly difficult task; one in which you may never succeed. Even if you do manage to sell your timeshare, it may take years because the market is so heavily saturated.
There are options for you to donate your timeshare to charity which is one of the easiest ways to legally exit a timeshare contract. If your timeshare qualifies for donation, you will be relieved of your contract and a charity will be able to utilise your timeshare.
If you decide to exit your timeshare contract early, you may still be in the cooling off period where you can cancel your contract and regain your deposit. After this cooling off period is over, it is significantly more challenging to exit your timeshare contract but still not impossible.
Cancellation or termination
When you exit your timeshare contract, you’ll usually have to choose between cancellation and termination. The cancellation of a contract refers to an exit where there has been a breach of contract which, in itself, may release you from your contact. Termination of a timeshare contract refers to an exit where there has been no breach of contract.
If your current deal isn’t providing you the price and quality which you want, you may be able to trade your contract for one in another resort.
Walking away refers to stopping payment of your timeshare contract; although this method can be somewhat effective, it is likely to produce a bad reaction from the timeshare company.
We spoke to Timeshare Consumer Association who said: “Timeshare companies are likely to threaten you if you cease payments so it’s heavily advised that you have a thought out backup plan arranged and have sought out sound legal advice.”
“It has been known for consumers to win a court battle again the timeshare company on the grounds of misrepresentation and they have been given compensation from the timeshare company.”
Whichever route you take, it is always advised to seek legitimate legal advice before attempting to exit your timeshare contract.
If you’re thinking of buying a timeshare, check out this article on why buying a timeshare is a bad idea.