We read with interest this morning, an article in the press (read the full story here: Daily Mail online) about a couple who paid over £7,000 to a company that promised to get them out of their timeshare and win compensation, but never did.
Thankfully, after a lengthy court battle, the couple were able to get their money back but sadly this story is not uncommon.
We often deal with clients who have paid – sometimes multiple times – for disposal services and now not only own their original timeshare and still have the liability they started with, but have paid out thousands for holiday packages which their timeshares were supposed to be traded in against.
In the case mentioned above a judge concluded that the contract was void because it did not contain key information and the firm should not have asked for upfront fees.
Timeshare directive – payment for services
Under the terms of the amended Timeshare Directive of 2008 which came in to UK Law in February 2011, a timeshare relinquishment or timeshare resale company cannot charge any upfront fee. In short – it is illegal for them to ask for money in advance to sell or dispose of your timeshare.
If you engage the services of a solicitor, they are acting on your behalf to negotiate with the timeshare company on your contract. This in effect is a professional service and a solicitor will always charge for time they use. Our advice would always be to agree a fixed fee rather than pay on a time basis. Some companies advertise ‘no-win, no’fee’ timeshare relinquishment services, although in our experience we have found that this is rarely the case.
You should always be thorough with anyone you choose to accept help from. If you are simply looking to sell your timeshare always deal with a credible and reputable company that you know follow the law.
If you want to legally get out of your timeshare, make sure you use a registered solicitor’s firm like ourselves, Sarah Waddington Solicitors Ltd. All solicitors have to be Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and you can check if a firm is officially registered at www.lawsociety.org.uk