The protections you currently have when buying timeshares will remain the same after Brexit if a timeshare contract is entered into under UK law.
However, after Brexit if you enter into a contract in an EU country, your contract may be governed by the law of that country, as the EU directive relating to timeshare will continue to apply across the EU. Your protections could also differ in each EU country depending on how that country extends protections to non-EU citizens.
If you are considering purchasing a timeshare contract in a EU country after Brexit, then you need to ensure you are provided with clear information and that you obtain legal advice before you buy as a timeshare contract is a legally binding document, so contact our team of timeshare lawyers today if you need advice.
It is also worth remembering that EU law states timeshare contracts must be written in the language of the consumer’s own EU country and as the UK will no longer be in the EU, you may not automatically receive the contract in English, so you will have to request an English translation – which may come at a cost.
You should never agree or sign any contracts you do not understand. If you have any queries it is imperative that you raise these before the contract is formed, and before you are bound by its contents. Feigning ignorance after you have signed or claiming lack of time to read the small print will be too little too late. Remember, signing a timeshare contract shouldn’t leave you with any regrets, so ensuring you have taken legal advice upfront is key.
Remember the motto has always been ‘Buyer Beware’ – so never sign up and pay on the day. Always get the contract checked by a UK solicitor and under no circumstances allow yourself to be forced into signing for something you are not completely happy with. If you have any doubts, no matter how insignificant they may seem, ensure these are satisfied before you proceed. For example, there may be additional considerations regarding maintenance fees and club rules. Have you read these, and do you understand them?
Costs and Exiting a Contract
It is likely that the cost of being a timeshare owner will rise as the exchange rate fluctuates and the pound suffers the aftereffects of Brexit. The cost of maintenance fees and resort taxes could rise, meaning your annual bill could increase significantly. You may also find the price of flights to European destinations increase. This doesn’t help the many timeshare owners who are already concerned with the financial burden their timeshare is having on them, add Brexit into the equation and this might be a great time to consider exiting a timeshare contract early.
However, there are options to explore and we would be happy to talk through your situation and help you to reach a decision.
Timeshares After Brexit
With Brexit there continues to be much uncertainty and we are receiving enquiries from concerned timeshare owners who are querying how Brexit will affect their timeshare contract especially within the most popular hotspots of Tenerife, Portugal, Spain and Greece.
The government has issued the following advice for timeshare owners, this does appear vague and we will have to wait and see what the long-term plan will be post 2020.
…We are taking all possible steps to provide continuity for consumers and business in both the UK and the European Union. We will keep existing high levels of consumer protections in the UK.
Before the UK leaves the EU
Your rights as a UK consumer will stay the same while the UK remains in the EU. Currently, you are protected in the same way by the timeshare protections wherever you are buying your timeshare in the EU, and wherever the timeshare property is located in the EU.
Your consumer rights if there’s a deal
Under the Withdrawal Agreement, there will be an implementation period lasting until December 2020. During this time your consumer protections will remain the same as they are now, until a permanent future relationship with the EU is confirmed.
Your consumer rights if there’s no deal
If we leave the EU without a deal, the protections you currently have when buying timeshares could be reduced.
As a result, you should ensure you are provided with clear information and legal advice before your buy. EU law says that timeshare contracts must be written in the language of the consumer’s own EU country. Unfortunately, as the UK will no longer be in the EU, you may not automatically receive the contract in English, and will have to request an English translation, possibly at a cost.
Remember, you should never agree to any contracts which you do not understand. Contact our team of timeshare lawyers if you have any queries.
Is now a good time to consider ending your timeshare agreement?
If you don’t want to simply risk it and see what happens after Brexit, now could be a great time to talk to one of our timeshare experts, assess your timeshare contract and talk through any options as no-one really knows how Brexit will affect your timeshare in the future. However, sometimes it pays to be cautious, so it may be worth exploring if you can exit your contract now.
You may also be considering exiting your contract if you are finding it difficult to meet the rising maintenance fees, simply cannot afford it any longer or are finding the timeshare no longer suits your needs. However, beware as there are many individuals willing to take advantage of timeshare owners by offering fake products, such as timeshare exit schemes. It is therefore imperative that before agreeing to any timeshare termination or exit procedure, independent professional advice should be sought. Unfortunately, the mis-selling of holiday products is common practice and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society, with any criminal convictions being few and far between.
Remember that purchasing a timeshare is not a financial investment, as there is almost no resale value. A timeshare is purely an investment in lifestyle, future holidays and family time together.
If you are a timeshare owner and feel unhappy with the service you have received or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with our timeshare lawyers today to discuss how we may be able to help you.