Five Ways to Exit a Timeshare or Holiday Club
Timeshare deals have quite the reputation for being difficult to leave. With confusing contracts, difficult resale markets and “in perpetuity” deals making things increasingly frustrating, it can be hard to know how to exit.
But fear not, there are actually a number of ways to get around these issues and get out of a timeshare deal. Here are five of them.
Cooling Off Period
The cooling off period concerns a very specific moment in a timeshare deal. The very moment you sign a timeshare contract, you are then legally given a 14 day cooling off period.
This period is designed to allow potential investors to reconsider their deal. During this time a timeshare dealer cannot ask you to pay any money for the deal, even though you have signed a contract.
Take a look at this post from the Citizens Advice Bureau which outlines the cooling off periods for a number of different contracts, including timeshares.
Timeshare donation is a consumer relief strategy which has grown in popularity in recent years due to the failures of the resale market.
For those who care about getting any sort of money back when exiting their timeshare, donating certainly shouldn’t be your primary exit strategy.
Essentially, you can legally donate a timeshare to a charity, who then use the property as a way to raise money. For example, a charity might offer a two-week stay in their timeshare as a prize in a charity auction.
Unfortunately, despite its popularity, this exit strategy is becoming increasingly difficult because charities are less comfortable taking on timeshares because of growing maintenance fee costs.
Another option is to sell your timeshare. There are many companies that specialise in reselling timeshares, or you could choose to do it yourself.
It is important to note that if you plan on going through a reseller, that you make all the necessary approaches yourself.
The resale market has unfortunately been subject to many scams in recent years, and one of the telltale signs is being approached (usually on the phone) about potentially selling. You can read more on resale scams in this great article on Forbes.
If you choose to sell on your own, there are a number of online platforms to do so, from specialist timeshare property sites to broad online markets like eBay.
Due to the shocking depreciation of timeshares, there is very little chance of you getting back the money that you originally paid, however, unlike other options on this list, reselling will at least bring you some money.
If you feel like you’ve exhausted all other options, or that there might have been some wrongdoing on the part of your timeshare company, you could always seek legal help.
There are plenty of legal experts who can help guide you out of your timeshare deal as smoothly as possible and can fight your corner if you have been tricked or scammed.
We spoke to TESS (Timeshare Exit & Support Services) who are experts in timeshare exit strategy and they told us, “Because of the amount of negative press surrounding timeshares in recent years, a lot of owners who want to exit have absolutely no idea if they have been wronged or not.”
“The majority of timeshare exit issues are contract based (see examples here), be it very restricting clauses or on the odd occasion, a scam. If you feel like there’s no way out or you are simply wasting money, seek legal advice as it could well help you get what you want.”
Another option you have is to transfer your timeshare. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who is interested in your property or find a third party who’d be interested in taking it off your hands.
Transferring to a third party is a quick fire way to exit a contract, however, it is important to note that this is NOT a sale, so while you do escape the contract, you are essentially giving it away from free.
The third party takes ownership of the property, taking on all the expenses (such as maintenance fees) that come along with it.