Knowing for sure that you are in what would be classified as an ‘unlawful timeshare agreement’ isn’t always easy to determine.
Determine if you have grounds for a timeshare compensation claim
If you’re unsure as to whether or not your timeshare contract could be deemed ‘unlawful’ and therefore void – here are some examples of the common points within the legal contract to consider regarding your timeshare experience.
- In Perpetuity – If your timeshare was signed after 1998 and lasts for over 50 years – the contract is classed as ‘in perpetuity’ which is a clause that has been deemed illegal, meaning the contract is null and void.
- Cooling Off Period – With these legal contracts there must be an acknowledged ‘cooling off period’ which generally lasts for around 14 days (but can be longer). Within this time, it is unlawful for any money to be taken from the customer by the timeshare company and if this did occur, the contract could be null and void.
- Floating Weeks or Flex Time – Look out for the mention of either of these terms within your contract. This is yet another unlawful clause which are often sold under false promise with some customers being unable to book a stay at their timeshare even 2 years in advance. Because most of these are sold to unknowing buyers without any specific fixed dates or addresses, these contracts too have been ruled as legally ‘null and void’ by the Spanish Supreme Court.
- Timeshare Points – Usually concealed under the guise of an ‘exclusive club or Platinum membership’ a timeshare point’s contract is a fractional ownership. Usually accompanied by a large upfront free, these contracts are often designed to benefit the developers and not the customers who buy into them with most often being unable to get the holidays they were promised. These contracts can be particularly misleading and difficult to understand for consumers and if they can be proven as such will likely be eligible for nullification and compensation.
Conditions in which the contract was signed
Another reason not documented on a contract for being miss-sold a timeshare are the circumstances in which the contract was sold.
- Was there intense pressure from a sales team or company?
- Were you given proper time to go through the paperwork thoroughly before signing?
- Was it sold as an investment with promises of making money?
- Were there promises made such as location, amenities, facilities etc. that turned out to be false?
- Did they promise the timeshare could be bought back by them at any time should you wish but when you requested this was then not possible?
- Have they breached the contract by not fulfilling the obligations within it?
The first step to successfully winning any timeshare claim is to seek out reliable, qualified, expert representation in the form of a solicitor who specialises in contract law and has knowledge of the timeshare industry.
Trying to tackle this alone will most likely lead to a long, drawn out and time-consuming legal battle up against the knowledgeable lawyers working on the timeshare company’s behalf. They will use tactics to stall, delay and avoid the case going any further with the use of legal obstacles and barriers to keep you from being successful.
Match them by making it a fair fight using a solicitor with experience handling timeshare compensation claims that will help navigate the complex legal paperwork for you and take the stressful process off your hands.
A common mistake some clients make is to cease payments to the timeshare company – but unfortunately it is not advisable to try and just walk away, especially if you intend to pursue them for compensation. Failure to make payments will allow the company to seek payment via a credit collection agency as well as additional late fees potentially being added.
Every piece of paperwork, email, document, contract, credit card statements and so on are all key pieces of evidence that can be crucial when filing a timeshare compensation claim. Ensuring that you have absolutely everything regarding your contract will give your solicitor the best chance of building a strong case against the company.
It is also advisable to keep a detailed diary to account every interaction, phone call, email or document in relation to the timeshare company.