Millions of people are right now attempting to rid themselves of a timeshare. You may have in fact stumbled upon this article because you are one of those individuals. Further, with so many people attempting to escape their timeshare the industry is effectively experiencing a mass exodus which has profound implications for the industry. Suffice to say, this has made breaking free incredibly fraught and difficult for a large number of those attempting and desiring to do so. At worst, it has left timeshare owners feeling trapped and like there really is no way out. Fortunately, whilst this can feel like the reality, it isn’t the reality. To prove as much, here are just four ways to exit a timeshare contract, and what’s more (and most importantly) do so legally.
- Act within the Cooling Off Period
By far the least complicated and surest means of ridding yourself of an unwanted timeshare is to simply act within the cooling off period, as discussed in full detail via the Timeshare Consumer Association website and via their article: Understanding Your Rights within the Cooling Off Period. In summary, the cooling off period covers the first fourteen days after having purchased a timeshare / entered into a contract. Change your mind within this albeit brief window of time, and legally you can have your entire investment amount returned in full and your contract nullified with no repercussions.
Due to the amount of people being mis-sold timeshares or pressured into buying a timeshare they then realised upon leaving a presentation event or thinking it over they did not want, UK and European law has now been amended to safeguard buyers against the unfair selling tactics that prevent would-be buyers from being able to make a calm, cool and educated decision.
Then, all a timeshare owner who purchased theirs within the past fortnight is required to do to break free from their contract and get their money back is inform the holiday club, resort or company who sold them the timeshare agreement that this is what they wish to do. Legally, a company cannot refuse to allow this and should not have had access to your ‘investment’ amount during this period. Rather, it should have been placed into a holding account to make accessing it easier for you, should you decide to act within the cooling off period and exit your timeshare.
- Declare it Void
The many ways by which a timeshare contract can be rendered void are complex. As such attempting to void a timeshare contract often requires seeking expert advice and help from a timeshare exit service – such as any one of those named within this article. This is because the laws surrounding timesharing have altered over the years in response to consumers’ complaints and experiences, rather than being established ahead of the industry ballooning like it once did. Therefore, millions jumped on the timeshare buying bandwagon without being able to foresee quite where it might take them.
Of course, now we know, but for millions of those still riding what has arguably become more of a runaway cart, it can seem impossible to get off – at least without taking huge risks. Because the laws have changed and been updated and amended in an attempt to prevent timeshare owners from getting injured along the way though, it is worth taking some time to explore whether any of these changes might provide you with a legal means of escaping your timeshare.
- Sell Up
Selling a timeshare that is no longer wanted might seem the most obvious and financially savvy means of freeing yourself from a contract, but it is low on this list of avenues to take because it is similarly low (if not far lower) on the list of viable means of getting shut of an unwanted timeshare. That is, and as starkly stated in the above infographic: ’there is an estimated 400 sellers for every 1 [timeshare] buyer’.
For this reason alone, those attempting to sell their unwanted timeshare can waste years paying princely annual fees whilst hanging around on the glib hope of finding a buyer when in fact, a buyer might not even exist. If a buyer does exist, the likelihood of finding them or getting anything near the price originally paid for a timeshare (never mind making a profit) is slim to none; with a market so oversaturated with genuinely and ever increasingly desperate sellers and at a time in which timesharing is at its lowest in terms of popularity, buyers can afford to offer next to nothing.
All the above made clear, for those intent on at least having a go at selling up, there are a number of services able to help promote your timeshare or even willing to purchase it directly from you, though the latter offer is almost often made at a significantly reduced price. Meanwhile, there are an equal if not higher number of scammers out there waiting to exploit the desperation of would-be sellers too. Hence, ahead of agreeing to sell your timeshare to anybody, it is worth (to reiterate the advice already given in this article) seeking expert advice, or alternatively referring to the Timeshare Hypermarket Online, which as Europe’s largest timeshare resale company and one that operates legally and transparently is also one of the few out there that can be trusted.
- Give it Up
Last but not least, for timeshare owners whose contracts are discovered to be legally binding (rather than mis-sold or otherwise voidable) and who have exhausted all other options, there is scope to return a timeshare to the company or club from which it was purchased. It is important to make it clear though that this is rarely as easy to do as it is to suggest; most clubs and companies knowing all too well how small the timeshare re-sale market is and are consequently reluctant to accept the return of those they have successfully sold already.
That said, persistence can work wonders in this case and those willing and dedicated to returning their timeshare in many cases do succeed in the end. So, if you think you have the perseverance to hear no time and time again and still keeping going, you might just want to give this option a go. To learn how, the Timeshare Users’ Group website contains all you need to know via their guide: Can I Give My Timeshare Back?