Here at Timeshare Advice, we believe that fewer people would have taken out long-term timeshare agreements if they had received clear, honest information from the beginning. In fact, we believe many people would not have chosen to take out a timeshare contract at all if they really knew what is truly entailed. There are very few timeshare companies willing to let you exit from your agreement after a just a year or two.
We have mentioned before that timeshare contracts with no end date specified or those that are dated for longer than 50 years are illegal, but here were are, going into more detail for you.
Even with the illegalities mentioned above a timeshare resort can trap you into a long-term contract that comes close to the 50 year deadline. This may very well exceed your lifetime, depending on the age you were when you signed the agreement. If you were to pass away before your contract expires, the responsibility could very likely still be passed on to your children or loved ones. They would then be liable to take on the payments for the rest of the contract term. This makes it clear as to why we believe that if people fully understood everything from the outset, fewer contracts would even be signed.
After reading the above you may now start worrying about what can be done. Fear not, as a long-term timeshare contract does not have to continue being a lifelong burden. Many people have contacted us as they feel they were mis-sold their timeshare, they explain they weren’t made aware of the how long their contract would run for, which could then mean that it was sold under misrepresentation.
Another misrepresentation people have enquired about is being told they could cancel their timeshare at any time, but when they came to do just this, they found that they couldn’t.
Although misrepresentation can be grounds to nullify a timeshare agreement, it can be extremely hard to prove. It can turn into a ‘your word against theirs’ situation unless you had the forethought to tape any conversations you had with the sales representative, or have witnesses to the conversation. It is useful you use a timeshare expert when looking to exit or nullify a timeshare contract in most cases, but for misrepresentation cases is doubly important as most of the evidence is within the contract itself. An expert in timeshare law will know what to look for, where it could be unlikely you find what is needed.
Another possible way to free yourself from a long term timeshare contract is accommodation issues. When you were sold your long term timeshare, you may have been promised a high or excellent quality accommodation for you to use time and time again. Although the use of the accommodation is there, the quality that you were sold may be poorer than what you were lead to believe. It may also lack as far as the maintenance, what may have been just what you paid for to begin with may start deteriorating as the years pass. In this case it is possible that you are not receiving what you paid for. At the end of the day, you are paying your maintenance fees year after year, you would think that would cover the cost of upkeeping and ensuring the quality of the unit you paid for. If either of these things feel familiar to you it may be possible to dispute your timeshare contract. We strongly advise that you take photographs and videos and keep any resort brochures that detailed the expected quality, as this could help with your case.
There are other possible ways to rid yourself of long term timeshare, such as the inclusion of an exchange program within your contract that you have been unable to take part in. There have been many reports of people trying to take advantage of the exchange program on offer, but when push comes to shove the availability has been so limited and they have found it virtually impossible to book at their chosen resort. Although this again can be difficult to prove, there have been cases where the claimants have been successful and proven that the resort were at fault.
Some people have also found they have grounds for a court case after they were sold their timeshare. Based on claims of being part of an ‘exclusive’ club and then finding out that anyone can take their holidays there, there was actually no reason to be a timeshare owner.
As you can see they are many possible ways to legitimately exit a long term timeshare agreement and there are an increasing amount of disputes taken to courts and the claimants winning. To cut through the many intricacies and complex terms used in timeshare contracts, always use an expert in this area to assist you along the way. They know what they are doing and can ease the stress that the process can potentially cause.
See our recent post regarding timeshare after death.