If you’ve heard the stories about timeshare owners winning compensation from resorts, you may be wondering about your own situation. As experienced timeshare solicitors , we stay right at the cutting edge of these court cases, so we know the conditions needed for a claim to be successful. This guide will list the most common reasons that timeshare owners have won compensation, so if this sounds like you then please get in touch.
In Perpetuity Timeshare Contracts
The expression “in perpetuity” simply means “forever” and is used to refer to timeshare contracts that have no defined end, or end over 50 years from their start date. Timeshare salespeople are notorious for putting together contracts of this nature, without making the details clear. In the excitement of the sale, the new owners don’t look through all of the small print and sign off on contracts that may even outlive them.
As the legal limit for contract length is 50 years, timeshare owners who were given a contract that exceeds this have a very strong claim for compensation. It can also be possible to make a claim on these grounds if the contract would extend beyond the timeshare owner’s lifespan.
Mis-sold Timeshare Contracts
Mis-selling refers to practices used in the timeshare sales process that could count as unethical or illegal. Successful salespeople will use these tactics in such a way that buyers don’t realise anything untoward is happening. An example could be telling you they can help you avoid all of the boring paperwork if you sign a certain document, which seems friendly but actually stops you from reading the contract.
Other common examples include pressuring buyers to close the deal, providing false guarantees about reselling and profits, and misrepresenting the condition or quality of the unit itself. There are many scenarios that can come under mis-selling, so if you have any doubts about your own experience you may have solid grounds for a claim.
Cooling Off Periods
Under EU law, timeshare sellers must clearly state that there is a two week cooling-off period after purchase. In this time, you can back out of the deal with no legal consequences, and they mustn’t take any money from you. This can be grounds for a compensation claim if you were never told about the cooling-off period, or were asked to make any payments during this time.
Floating Week Timeshares
While the classic timeshare model offered a set week per year, “floating week” contracts promised owners the flexibility to choose from various dates. In reality, many owners have found themselves unable to book any of the weeks they were promised but were still required to pay the fees. This has led to several successful rulings against resorts that use these contracts, so it’s worth chatting to a timeshare solicitor if you have found yourself stuck in the same situation.
Timeshare Points Clubs
If you have bought into any holiday sales schemes, you may have found yourself in a timeshare contract without realising. Resorts have come up with many ways to dress up the timeshare system, with points clubs being the most popular. The premise is that you pay upfront and ongoing fees in exchange for points, which can then be used on top-class accommodation. They draw people in with words such as “exclusive” and “luxury” for these schemes, appealing to buyers who may be wary of the traditional timeshare. In actuality, these clubs are contractually the same, which means members have a chance of a successful compensation claim.