Many people are involved in a Timeshare contract but remain completely unaware of the regulations which were established to protect consumers from unfair practices by developers. Since the regulations were created in 1994, there have been numerous amendments over the years, to both the Timeshare Directive and Timeshare Act with significant improvements and protection with each amendment. This is vital to ensure timeshare companies are following and abiding the regulations set by the leading body. However, although the European Commission has tried to control poor practices, there still remains numerous cases where the rules are not being followed.
There is no doubt that timeshare law is an extremely complex and specialised area but knowledgeable professionals such as Sarah Waddington Solicitors can advise you on the best path to take and help greatly reduce the stress of trying to resolve your timeshare case. We are able to deal with and manage across multiple governing laws as well as different areas of law such as property contract and finance. There can also be added complications when the property is owned in one country, trusted in a different one to that and then managed from another. When this happens different countries legislation will need to be assessed as Timeshares in Europe are covered by the European Timeshare Act and Timeshare Directive.
What Are the Timeshare Regulations?
Since the European Timeshare Directive was first established in 1994, there have been various amendments over the years that have replaced the original regulations. With the updated act, rules are clearer and more straight-forward, allowing consumers to be protected against unwanted, and troublesome timeshare contracts. Compared to the act of 1994, the statute has changed and now has the capability to cover movable accommodation and contracts of less than three years and re-sale agreements. These regulations were designed for all EU countries to follow and adapt their national law for implementation to timeshare companies.
The Official Role of the Timeshare Trader
To verify the legitimacy of the trader, they must provide and inform the consumer of all details regarding price, property description, duration of contract and the length of stay in the chosen accommodation. This is only a small portion of information that they need to disclose as there are copious directives that are significant in timeshare law. If they fail to inform the consumer of this information, they are breaching the binding agreement, leading to altercations between the trader and the timeshare buyer.
The Benefits of Timeshare Regulations
The aim of timeshare regulations is to reduce the risk of unlawful timeshare companies manoeuvring or tricking consumers into unwanted contracts. When regulations are set for timeshare companies, they are more likely to deter the improper rules they follow when dealing with consumers looking to relinquish or completely get out of their timeshare contract.
In the timeshare industry, the rise of rogue traders is not only increasing, but they are always adapting and finding new ways to trick or scam people – which is something solicitors are very aware of. It is important that everybody works together to help protect consumers and combat the illegitimate companies and the people who run them.
When these regulations first came out in 1994, they were a disconcertion for all timeshare companies as it outlined the fraudulent contracts they were offering to customers. There are many benefits to the Timeshare Directive, including an improved confidence for consumers which leads to an improvement in the market industry. By having the guidelines documented within the constitution, there is additional protection for customers, who may be otherwise unaware that they are signing a dishonest contract. It also encourages timeshare companies to be more authentic and disclose all detail of the information which summaries the contract.
What is the purpose of the UK Timeshare regulations?
In 2011, new regulations regarding – timeshares, holiday products, resale and exchange contracts came into force across the UK. These updated regulations transpose the EU Directive 2008/122/EC into UK law and work to help enhance consumer confidence in the timeshare industry as well as help to eliminate the rogue traders causing the problems.
These rules are much simpler and clearer than those before them and help better protect consumers from illegal or unreasonable timeshare contracts and timeshare scams. They also stipulate that traders must provide consumers with detailed information such as price and additional costs, contracts length, description and terms, in advance of signing the contract.
What types of contracts do these regulations apply to?
These regulations cover different types of timeshare and holiday ownership and accommodation agreements such as apartments in holidays resorts as well as moveable properties such as boats and mobile homes.
The regulations apply to the sale and marketing of these types of contract:
- Timeshare contracts with a duration of more than one year.
- Long term holiday product contract with a duration of more than one year.
- Resale contracts under which a consumer uses a trader to sell or buy their timeshare or long-term holiday product.
- Exchange contracts where a consumer joins an exchange system, permitting them access to overnight accommodation or other services, in exchange for temporary access to the rights and benefits arising from the timeshare contract.
How can these regulations help me?
The ultimate aim of these updated regulations is to help and protect consumers from bad, unlawful and dishonest contracts that can leave them tied in for life and losing money.
Some key aspects of the directive include the right to withdraw from the contract which ensures that consumers have a 14 day ‘cooling off period’ in which they are entitled to change their mind. During this time traders are not allowed under any circumstances to ask for any form of payments or deposits in advance and withdrawing from the contract within this time should be without loss or penalty of any sort.
Find Out More About the Timeshare Regulations
Regulations are imperative in the timeshare industry as without them, people who engage in a timeshare’s companies service could end up in a timeshare dispute which is unnecessary. People need to keep up to date with the latest guidelines and principles before entering into an agreement that they aren’t 100% certain is law abiding.
If you have read our page and are interested in the many rules and regulations involved in timeshare law, you have come to right place. Our specialist solicitors can help with any issues you may be encountering with your timeshare and can guarantee that your case will be dealt with in a professional and proficient manner. With in-depth knowledge, experience and expertise in all areas of timeshare law, Sarah Waddington Solicitors is the team you can trust to handle your complex case.