A Quick Guide to Legally Exiting Your Timeshare Contract
Many people who enter into timeshare agreements soon come to regret their decision, whether it’s because of the escalating maintenance fees or just because they don’t want to keep going to the same location every year.
However, getting out of a timeshare contract can be notoriously difficult, with many timeshare companies claiming that the agreement is ‘in perpetuity’, which essentially means ‘for life’.
However, thankfully there are ways to legally get out of a timeshare contract, which we’re going to cover in this blog post.
Cooling Off Period
If you only just signed for the timeshare, then you may be able to cancel during what is known as the ‘cooling off period’.
During this period of 14 days from the day you signed the contract, you’re entitled to have the contract fully terminated and have any money that you paid returned to you.
To trigger this, you need to write to the timeshare company outlining your intention to cancel the timeshare contract.
Outside the Cooling Off Period
If you’re now outside of this two-week period, then the timeshare company may have you believe that you’re stuck with the property, but there is still a legal way to have the contract cancelled, which is if you were mis-sold the timeshare in the first place. This is extremely common, as the timeshare industry is known for its dubious sales techniques, so chances are that you may have a case.
For example, if the timeshare is not exactly as it was presented to you, either in the contract or in a sales presentation, then the seller has mis-sold it to you, making the contract void in the eyes of the law.
If you do take this approach, it’s not uncommon for the timeshare companies to threaten legal action, which is understandably scary.
However, in the majority of cases, they don’t actually have much of a leg to stand on and such threats aren’t followed up.
Despite this, it’s crucial that you seek out professional guidance before going down this route because timeshare law is very complex.
The Timeshare Consumer Association are renowned industry experts who have helped many people in these situations and it’s recommended that you get in touch with them if you require assistance in exiting a timeshare.
Getting Money Back
Of course, once the contract is cancelled, the next most important thing is trying to get your money back.
This will be a case of going to your bank/card company who should refund you as part of the chargeback obligation which you can read more about at Which? Consumer Rights.
Some banks will be more helpful than others, but they do have an obligation to reverse the payment, so if they don’t your next step should be to speak to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
This may require a bit of persistence, but you should be able to reclaim your money if you were mis-sold the timeshare!
There isn’t always a legal route out of your timeshare, but the majority of the time, there will be a solution, it just takes a little time!
The best thing to do is to speak to the experts, as trying to take on the timeshare companies yourself is likely to be a recipe for disaster.