Time share legislation
What EU rights for timeshare buyers?
Under new EU rules, timeshare is where you buy the right to spend a set amount of time in a villa, apartment or similar in a given period (2 weeks a year, for instance) and where the contract lasts more than one year.
In the EU, timeshare buyers have a strong set of rights under the new EU Timeshare Directive. These include:
the right to full information before you sign the contract,
the right to contract cancellation within 14 days for any reason without penalty (a cooling-off period),
if the trader has not provided the required information, the contract cancellation (cooling-off) period is extended to one year plus 14 days.
specific rules on payment protecting consumers: e.g. you must not be asked for any deposit, advance payment etc. during the cooling-off period.
Top tips on timeshare from European Consumer Centres
These tips have been compiled based on the experience of Centres advising and helping timeshare buyers.
1. Beware of aggressive sales
Timeshares and holiday clubs are often sold using aggressive techniques (many of which are illegal in the EU). For example, holidaymakers may be offereda scratch card which invariably wins a prize. To get the prize, they are lured into commercial presentation and pressured into signing a timeshare contract on the spot. Be extremely suspicious!
2. Be cautious of timeshare resale offers
Some timeshare resale companies offer to resell your timeshare for an upfront fee. Once the fee is paid, sales rarely take place and, where they do, it is often at a selling price that barely covers the fees.
Timeshare sellers may also try topersuade you to buy another property, saying that they will sell your current property. Often, these sales never happen and you may be left with two timeshares!