How easy is it to get out of a timeshare contract?
As the timeshare industry has matured, those unfortunate enough to be trapped in a timeshare contract increasingly find more reasons to want to exit. The inflation busting annual maintenance fee hikes, with subsequent drop in resort standards and an increase in sales pressure – as fewer owners are hunted by commission hungry resorts – have all added to the desire of timeshare owners to evade their contractual commitments.
But timeshare companies make their money from maintenance and upselling to existing members, and subsequently, make it very hard for existing owners to leave. Worse still, many contract's have an ‘in perpetuity’ clause, meaning that the contract passes on to loved ones as a very dubious part of the original owners' estate.
To put it bluntly, timeshare contracts are hard to leave because the timeshare resorts have purposely made it so.
So how can I leave my timeshare contract?
Some timeshare companies, under the weight of legal attacks and general, disdain of the authorities, have bowed to pressure and allow some members to hand their weeks back, but only if certain criteria are met. These criteria are hard to meet and often centred around age and ill health. And often two years maintenance fees must be paid and all rights to legal claims waived – this is a very important point to note.
While some owners can access these programmes for the vast majority of owners the only way to leave their timeshare is via the services of a specialist relinquishment legal firm.