Timeshare Laws that Protect the Consumer

Purchasing a timeshare can provide you with the opportunity to enjoy vacations you might never be able to afford otherwise. However, the timeshare purchase process can seem nerve-wrackingly complex. Fortunately, timeshare buyers are protected by an extensive range of relevant laws.

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Buying a luxury vacation home may not be within your budget, but that does not mean you have to give the enjoyment of such a getaway up entirely. You can buy the next best thing – a timeshare. You will then enjoy long-term rights to the vacation home of your dreams, giving you the ability to visit the home each year on specified dates. Before you make a timeshare purchase, however, you should do some research on the property itself, as well as on the laws and regulations that apply to buying it in your area.

Timeshares

Before you start shopping, you will first need to understand what a timeshare actually is; believe it or not, many people do not truly understand the meaning and purpose of a timeshare. When multiple people share the ownership of a property, this piece of real estate becomes known as a timeshare. Most people who own a timeshare are of no relation to each other, although there is no law that forbids family members from purchasing a timeshare together. Timeshares are located throughout the world, but most are purchased in resort communities.

Most owners can use their timeshares in one-week time periods, but this will vary from one timeshare to another. These properties are not always used for owner vacations; some owners will rent their time, using the property as an investment. Owners also have the ability to swap and trade locations, depending on the details of the timeshare agreement.

Rescission Period

After you sign a contract to purchase a timeshare, you still have time to cancel the agreement; this is known as the rescission period. Legally, you can return the timeshare for a full refund, but the amount of time during which you may do so varies from one state and one country to another. Each state and country has passed its own laws governing the amount of time you have to receive a refund for a timeshare. For instance, you have three business days to ask for a refund in Indiana, but you have ten days in Florida.

Even if you make your timeshare purchase through a well-known timeshare exchange company like Hilton or Celebrity, you have the right to rescind the offer. The state has the final say over the Right to Rescission for all purchases made in that state. The rescission period should be listed in your timeshare agreement under “Notice of Mutual Right of Cancellation of Timeshare,” or a similar section.

Ownership Rights

When you purchase a timeshare, you own that timeshare for a specific amount of time that is listed within the contract agreement, or you own the property for the rest of your life. You would then have the legal right to rent or sell that property, or to pass it down to an heir. The timeshare is considered legal property that you collectively own with the other timeshare owners. Some timeshare exchange companies, such as Marriott, will have their own set of regulations regarding how the property can be sold. Marriott prefers to have first choice in a resale; the specifics will be detailed in your contract agreement.

Before you make your purchase, have a legal professional go over the contract with you. Most of the terms are legally binding once the agreement is signed, so you should make sure you are fully aware of what your timeshare purchase involves, including all associated expenses, such as seller fees, closing costs and commissions.

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Boris Razmiki

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