The Link Between Timeshares and Brexit
The UK’s departure from Europe is causing uncertainty for timeshares in terms of
costs, contracts and how future sales may be affected. Timeshares currently have a wide geographical spread across Europe with many properties located in Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Malta. This is leaving many timeshare owners understandably anxious whilst awaiting decisive information to be delivered by the UK Government.
As we continue through the Brexit transition period the industry is expecting communications surrounding general timeshare claims and queries to increase. If you are uncertain about any aspect of your timeshare contract during this time, it is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as you can.
So, What Would Leaving The European Union Mean For British Timeshare Owners?
Understandably, concerns are growing about how Brexit may affect the legalities of timeshare contracts, the potential for travel costs to increase due to exchange rate fluctuations and the possibility of increases in maintenance fees and resort taxes. All of these factors combined could see the costs of an annual timeshare holiday significantly increasing in the near future.
Alongside this is the potential cost of travel visas and driving permits as it is uncertain at the moment if British citizens will need to apply and pay these. There is a possibility that from 2021 you may be required to pay a visa fee to enter EU countries and for a driving permit if you are booking a hire vehicle.
The final update on how timeshares will be affected will become clear as we continue to move through the current transition period, and our deal with the EU is finally agreed.
Important Brexit Milestones
January 31st, 2020 – The date that Britain left the UK and entered the transition period. At this point your consumer protections remain unchanged and your timeshare contract rights continue as they are. The current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during this transition period.
December 31st, 2020 – By the end of December the EU and the UK will have negotiated and decisions will have been made as to whether Britain will officially leave with or without a deal. If we leave the EU without a deal, the protections you currently have when buying timeshares abroad will potentially be reduced.
January 1st, 2021 – Any new deals or rules which are to be implemented will take effect from this date.
Purchasing a Timeshare After Brexit
From the 1st January 2021 entering into a timeshare contract, in an EU country, will see your contract probably governed by the law of that country. Britain will no longer be part of the EU, so will not be party to the EU directive which governs timeshare legislation. We will be non-EU citizens and potentially classed as 3rd country.
With this in mind you should make sure you are provided with clear information and legal advice before you buy any timeshare in an EU country. You may also have to pay for a translation service to have the legal documents translated. Presently EU law states that timeshare contracts must be written in the language of the consumer’s own EU country – but as we will no longer be in the EU contracts will probably be provided in local language only.
You should under no circumstances agree to any contracts that you have not fully read or do not understand.
Timeshares Purchased in the UK
Timeshares contracts purchased in the UK will not be affected by Brexit. If purchasing a timeshare for UK-only accommodation, you can be rest assured you will see no alterations. If you purchase a timeshare with a UK company with EU accommodation, then you will need to take note of any changes to exchange rates and amends to any travel and driving requirements.