How to Cancel Timeshare Contracts.
Just Bought a Timeshare? You May Be Wishing You Hadn’t!
If you have recently purchased a timeshare and want to cancel the contract, then you have 14 days (known as the “Withdrawal Period”) in which to do so. If the timeshare is a Long Term Holiday product, as described under the provisions of The Timeshare Regulations 2010 in the UK, then you can terminate the agreement upon written notice to the timeshare resort, without explanation.
EU Countries such as Spain, have now implemented the timeshare Directive 2008/122/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 January 2009 on the protection of consumers in respect of certain aspects of timeshare, long-term holiday product, resale and exchange contracts (the “Directive”). The Directive simplified and extended measures for the protection of you, the consumer. They simplify and address any shortcomings within the current timeshare laws, as the new Directive applies to the sale, marketing and content of timeshare contracts. The Directive extends measures to the sale of long-term holiday products, the resale of timeshares and, timeshare exchange contracts; the marketing and sale of which have been a nightmare for many people
If you have not familiarised yourself with the legislation, then you should do. The documentation is clear and easy to read and in particular provides direction about the documentation that should have been provided to you when you were sold your timeshare or long-term holiday product. The good news is that if the resort did not give you the documentation, then the withdrawal period, which is normally 14 days, is not valid and does not begin until you have received it.
In the UK, the Directive was enshrined into law by the Timeshare, Holiday Products, Resale and Exchange Contracts Regulations 2010 (2010 No. 2960) (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulations”). In Spain, it was done by amending Law 42/1998 of the Spanish Civil Code.
So how does the legislation here affect you? Well, hopefully, we can simplify it for you, here below.
For contracts or agreements entered into before 23rd February 2011:
You are legally able to cancel a timeshare agreement or holiday club contract within 14 days of the date that you signed the contract under the provisions of the withdrawal period under the new Regulations. If you bought the timeshare or holiday club product which was financed by a linked loan or other financial agreement, you will need to write to the financial institution who provided the loan and tell them that you want to cancel the agreement. You should put this in writing and send the notice of cancellation to the resort and the bank simultaneously. You should do this by recorded delivery so that you have proof of delivery. Email communication can also be proof of delivery, but this may be subject to argument. We would recommend that you do it in writing by both post and email to ensure your intentions are on record. Make sure you have some proof of delivery, both by mail and electronically.
You must send this within the 14 days withdrawal period. Ensure that you leave enough time and do not leave it until the eleventh hour or too near to the 14-day deadline, as the clock starts ticking the day you sign the agreement to purchase your the timeshare.
You are not compelled to give a reason as to why you want to cancel the timeshare agreement or holiday club contract, you simply need to state the agreement number, the date that you signed it and that you wish to cancel. Make sure the dates are accurate and leave no doubt as to your intention to cancel your agreement.
If the resort has followed protocol it is good practice to include a ‘model cancellation’ letter which you can copy and submit to the resort. The good thing about using such a letter is the resort cannot argue that your intention to terminate has not been conveyed to them correctly.
It is important to know that if you have not been given a the subscribed cancellation notice within the documents at the point of sale then, crucially, the 14 day withdrawal period does not begin until you receive them. If you are not in receipt of the notice of withdrawal, then check all your documentation to ensure that it was not included in the package with the sales information they gave you at the point of sale.
Under the Timeshare Regulations 2010 Part 6 25 (5) it is forbidden for a resort or person to:
accept any consideration from the consumer before:
(a) the sale of those rights takes place, or
(b) the contract is otherwise terminated
(6) For the purposes of this regulation “consideration” includes any of the following;
(c) reservations of money on account,
(d) acknowledgements of debt.
(7) A person who contravenes paragraph (3) or (5) commits an offence.
Therefore, if you have paid any money within the 14-day withdrawal period, you are entitled to demand a full refund of any monies without deduction for administrations or any other fees that the seller may seek to impose upon you as consequences of you requesting to withdraw within the 14-day withdrawal period.
Please take the time to read this page in full and digest the relevant parts that apply specifically to yourself, as some situations may arise which can be a little more complex than some. If feel you do not understand or you feel confused, and you seek further clarity in respect of your consumer your rights, please call Mercantile Claims, we have a dedicated team of timeshare experts who will deal with this for you.