Timeshare Contracts – Know What You Are Getting Into

If you have been thinking of entering a timeshare contract, there are certain things you need to consider. As a timeshare exit company, we have worked with several clients who have tried to exit contracts because they were mis-sold a timeshare, didn’t like what they paid for or got bored of their location too quickly. So, by reading the facts and tips below, you should be able to educate yourself more on what exactly you are getting yourself into with a timeshare contract and the different types of agreements.

We want what’s best for you, so before you sign a timeshare agreement, take a look below. You might decide it’s not the best decision for you.

Length of the Contract

Often, a timeshare contract is a perpetuity contract. This means that it typically doesn’t have an end date to the agreement. Most perpetuity clauses will last until your death when the fees and ownership of the timeshare disappear. However, timeshare perpetuity clauses tend to not end with the death of the original contract owner, but instead pass on ownership and responsibility to your children. Therefore, for generations to come, your family can be held responsible for yearly maintenance fees for your timeshare.

Timeshare companies need maintenance fees to pay for the upkeep of the resorts and pay taxes and their staff, so they need these fees being paid for as long as possible. This is why often in their contracts, costs still need to be paid after your death, either by giving the ownership of the agreement to a family member or paying them with your assets. Don’t assume that once you pass away, the burden of the contract is over, or expect that you can quickly exit your timeshare when you want.

Type of Contract

There are different types of timeshare contracts you can sign which will impact your holidays and satisfaction. When buying a timeshare, you need to consider every aspect; otherwise, you can be disappointed. Here are a couple of contract types which you need to know about before signing anything.

Asides from the fixed week timeshare contract (the most popular), there is a point-based system which allots you an annual amount of points which you can trade for any resort within a brand’s inventory or with affiliate resorts. Typically, a fixed week contract is for one resort only for the resort of the contract length (as stated, typically till death). This can get very boring for some people, so a points based system allows them to try something new. Sometimes, points can even be exchanged for holiday products like airport transfers and flight costs. Like fixed season timeshare contracts, different weeks of the year will have a different colour, and certain resorts in certain locations will have a ‘points score’ denoting the number of points needed to book it. However, although it seems to give members more flexibility, it can often be hard to find availability at the resorts or in the weeks that they want.

A similar contract to this one is the exchange contract, where a consumer joins an exchange programme which lets them access other accommodation in exchange for allowing the other person to have temporary access to their timeshare. Simply put, you are exchanging timeshares for your allocated week. This can have some limitations as if you have a fixed week contract you can only swap timeshares with someone who has the same week as you.

Time of Year

You also need to consider the time of year your contract allows you to visit your timeshare In a fixed week contract, the most typical of timeshares, you pay for the right to use a particular resort or villa on a specific week of the year annually. This leaves you little room to change resorts or weeks as it is all fixed. You would have to enter an exchange programme if you wanted to try different locations. But, this is beneficial for the type of people who like to know what to expect from a holiday year after year.

A different type of timeshare contract is floating weeks which allows you to book the use of your timeshare during any time of the year based on availability. While this may seem like the best type of contract, it can often be hard or impossible to get the weeks you want, as there is increased popularity for certain times of the year. Also, there has been some legal scrutiny over this type of contract recently as there have been several complaints from members who were unable to book a timeshare holiday at all because of the lack of availability. Resorts who sell floating week contracts were discovered to be prioritising non-member bookings (as they can rely on member fees even if they don’t end up booking a holiday) as well as reserving the best holiday weeks for their staff.

If you have entered a timeshare contract you no longer like or need, we can help you find a way out. By working with you, we can help you be free of the expensive maintenance fees that burden your life and cause financial stress. Check out our website today if you want to learn more about our services.