There are a number of reasons why you might be looking to exit your timeshare. Perhaps the costs involved such as the maintenance fees are proving to be too expensive, or maybe you no longer want the restriction of visiting the same destination each year.
A statistic reported in The Telegraph last year stated that roughly ‘12pc of the 850,000 timeshares in Europe could now be considered illegal and their owners due a refund of all money spent, plus interest and legal costs of all money spent, plus interest and legal costs.’
Timeshares are renowned for being particularly difficult to exit. When reading through the terms and conditions of your timeshare contract, withdrawing from the agreement may not appear as straightforward as it should be.
However, should you wish to exit your timeshare contract, there are thankfully a number of different options which will mean that you are no longer tied to owning and funding a timeshare.
Cooling Off Period
Also known as the ‘recession period’, the cooling off period provides you with a specified window of time in which you can withdraw from the timeshare agreement.
The Timeshare Consumer Association explains that: “Under certain circumstances, you are given the right to cancel over a specific period of time which is called the “cooling off” period which is imposed on certain industries which have a chequered past.’
The recession period usually lasts for 14 days, however, it’s advisable to have a look through your contract or check with the timeshare company to ensure that this is the case.
So, should you still be within this window of time and you wish to cancel your contract, then this would be the best option to consider.
There are still plenty of ways in which your timeshare contract can be legally exited without you having to be within the 14 day cooling off period.
Perhaps after having your timeshare for a few years and feeling that you would enjoy more flexibility in planning your annual vacation. If so, then there are plenty of ways in which you can escape your contract.
Selling the timeshare is one popular method used by individuals looking to exit their agreement.
As highlighted in Investor Junkies article, with an increasing number of timeshares being built, this is flooding the market with newly built and often contemporary furnished properties which are more appealing, thus making your current timeshare a less desirable purchase for buyers.
This is one of the reasons as to why selling a timeshare can be so difficult, and why the chances of you being able to recover the initial payment made to secure the timeshare are very slim.
For individuals who have struggled trying to sell their timeshare, another legal option for exiting your timeshare contract could be to transfer the timeshare to a third party.
Should you perhaps have a family member or friend who would be interested in taking the timeshare off your hands, then this could be a great way of quickly freeing yourself from the timeshare agreement.
However, it’s important that you’re aware that transferring the timeshare doesn’t mean that it has been sold to the third party. While the third party will take on official ownership of the timeshare as well as fees such as maintenance expenditure, the initial payment for the timeshare won’t be restored.
Another method which you could consider if you’re looking to withdraw from your timeshare fairly quickly is through donating the timeshare to charity.
Alike with transferring your timeshare to a third party, donating your timeshare will mean that won’t be able to recover any of the original deposit you made at an earlier time, however, it is an easier and quicker way of you being able to leave your timeshare contract.
Take legal action
Legal assistance is an effective solution should the previous options perhaps not have been suitable or perhaps the timeshare company have misled you in some way and you feel that gaining legal assistance is the next best option.
There are a number of companies who specialise in a range of matters from the acquisition of timeshares to exiting contracts such as Timeshare Consumer Association who we mentioned earlier on in the article.
Should there have been any wrongdoing on the part of the timeshare company, receiving assistance and support from professionals who have vast experience in dealing with such matters is probably the best route to try.