One of the biggest issues that people have with timeshare properties is that the contracts are so difficult to get out of.
The ‘in-perpetuity’ nature of timeshare contracts, coupled with the hefty maintenance fees which must be paid for even if you don’t stop at the property, mean that thousands of timeshare owners are in stuck in an expensive spiral which can be difficult to break.
We’ve taken a look at everything you need to know if you want to exit your own timeshare.
Timeshare contracts are tough
If you carefully read through your timeshare contract you’ll have seen that the terms can be pretty harsh, although you’d be surprised how many people are rushed into signing for a property without having chance to full read them.
The contract is a legally binding document in which you commit to pay regular maintenance fees either for a set period (which will be many many years), or even ‘in perpetuity’, which means you’ll be paying them forever!
These fees are usually fairly high, and are likely to rise, and your timeshare company is unlikely to want to lose this steady stream of revenue.
So what can I do?
Your best bet is to get in touch with a specialist timeshare exit company. There are plenty of these organizations such as Timeshare Exit & Support Services (TESS), who are experts in the field of timeshares and will help you terminate or exit your timeshare agreement.
There are certain laws in place to protect you as a consumer, and companies such as TESS know these inside out, and should be able to help you legally find an exit route from your contract.
While this may sometimes be down the route of court action, this is not always the case.
If you want to get out of your individual timeshare property, but are still keen on the idea of owning one, there are trade-in programmes available to you.
With these schemes you can simply give your timeshare slot to a third party, and take another one, either at a different time in the same resort, or at a totally different one.
Of course, this solution isn’t for everyone, but it can work in some situations. For example, if you’re a little too old to be heading to that ski resort every year.
Just like with any other option, you’re sadly unlikely to get back what you paid for the timeshare, but hopefully you knew this going in.
One of the most common timeshare scams actually affects those who are trying to get out of their agreement.
There are many companies who will offer to sell your property, or will even claim to already have a buyer.
However, once they have your money, some of these companies will disappear off the face of the earth, leaving you with your timeshare, and out of pocket.
To be on the safe side, you should be wary of any reseller who approaches you out of the blue. It should be you who makes the first contact.
Another sign that should set alarm bells ringing is if they ask you for an upfront payment, as legitimate resellers should not ask for payment until the property has been sold.