What is a timeshare?

Timeshare properties are typically resorts or apartments that are shared over the year between multiple owners. By buying a week in a resort, families costs are reduced considerably (when compared to the purchase price of the whole property). Across the 52 weeks of the year, different owners will take up residency, making that resort their home, before the property is turned over to someone else.

People who buy into a timeshare can return annually but often are allowed to select different weeks or days in the various seasons. There are red, white and blue levels of demand; red being the highest while being moderate demand and blue highlighting the lowest demand weeks of the year. So, if people want to go during weeks that are classified as ‘red’, it can often be difficult, and they will be on a waiting list for a long time. This, unfortunately, can leave some timeshare owners with only the option of taking their holiday during the less desirable weeks for that year.

How long you own your timeshare for depends on the resort and the contract you took out, but many timeshare contracts are known as 50-year contracts or ‘in perpetuity’. This means they will likely last beyond the owners lifetime. Reading the contract thoroughly will help you understand how long you are required to pay for your timeshare.

Are There Different Types of Timeshares?

There are different kinds of timeshares that you can buy into. A ‘fixed week’ of timeshare gives the owner a specific week annually to visit the property, which they cannot change. Then there is the ‘floating timeshare’ which is a request for a specific sized property for a requested week, but the actual location and resort can vary annually.

There are also different systems that can be used in timeshare companies. Some companies will work on a points-based system, where the resorts, hotels and properties will group together to offer various locations to the timeshare owner. The resorts value their weeks in a common currency – points. Members of a points club timeshare are allocated a specified number of points each year which they can then use to ‘buy’ weeks.

What if I Don’t Trust My Fees?

If you think that there is something wrong with the management or an increase that seems unnecessary, then you have the right to ask for a breakdown of how your fees are spent. Then you can judge yourself whether or not these charges are necessary. However, problems may occur if your timeshare company refuses to give you this information. This can lead to suspicion, and you should try to investigate further and even seek legal advice if they still refuse to let you see the fee breakdown. Make sure everything is in writing, especially your information request whether this is pen and paper or over email. This can be evidence if the matter should escalate.

Can Family and Friends Use my Timeshare?

Just because you own the timeshare doesn’t mean it’s limited to your use. Family and friends can use your timeshare with or without you. Depending on the country or resort you are in, one member of the visiting group must be over 18 or 21. Some resorts may also charge a ‘guest fee’ if none of the named owners is attending. But, this still means that if you don’t want to visit your resort that year, your family and friends can enjoy it without you needing to be there and your week doesn’t go to waste.

What Are Maintenance Fees?

As well as the annual fee to own your timeshare, there is often a maintenance fee that you have to pay for the upkeep of the property. These fees are typically paid annually and cover the cost of running the resort (the pool and play areas for example), or your specific timeshare property. These fees can also be used to refurbish the property and cover any wear and tear over time to help keep everything at a high-quality despite the yearly use and occupancy.

Can You Exchange Resorts?

When you buy into a timeshare, often it is for a select property that you will visit annually. After some time, this resort or location can become dull or overused, and you might long for a change of scenery. Some timeshare companies may run an exchange system where timeshare owners have the opportunity to swap resorts, locations and weeks for an administration fee. This means you can visit more parts of the world during your timeshare ownership at varying times of the year.

Can I Rent My Resort?

Perhaps one year you find you can’t visit your resort because of illness or work commitments, but that doesn’t mean you should let it go to waste. Some timeshare companies will let you rent your resort or property out for a cost. Most resorts will require you to pay for a guest certificate, but others may allow you to rent the unit yourself. Renting it out means that the property can still be used during your designated week, and you aren’t making a loss of money either.

Get free expert advice today

Friendly advice from timeshare experts

Once we receive your request one of our highly skilled advisers will contact you to find out more information about your situation. All of our advisers have detailed knowledge of the timeshare industry and will be able to advise you on what your options are.

We will assess your situation and provide advice on whether we believe your timeshare was unlawfully sold to you. We will also provide advice on whether there are potential grounds for compensation against the timeshare company.

Our latest timeshare news & advice

Our blog may be the first point of reference for you; here we have many articles that explain different issues that timeshare owners go through with their resort, both good and bad.  However, you may find it easier to speak to one of our friendly advisers who will be able to answer your questions there and then.

The latest timeshare scandal – Gary Neville Linked to Azure scam

What is the Azure Timeshare Scandal? Azure Services Limited has recently come under scrutiny for some £47 million of loans (which works out at an enormous £32,500 per transaction). These loans are currently being investigated as it has been found that Azure was not an FCA authorised broker, and therefore had been in breach of

Read More »
eze group in birmingham

Looking closely at the Eze Group Scam

  Very recently, the directors of the EZE Group plead guilty to the charges against them of unfair trading standards (Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008). They have admitted committing offences under section 3(4) and 15 of the Regulations (summarised below).   Section 3(4) of the Regulations prohibits misleading and aggressive trading practices. Section

Read More »
Dealing with timeshare scammers

Advice on dealing with Timeshare Scammers

What is a Timeshare scam? Timeshare scammers operate in many different ways. Essentially a scammer, or fraudster, is a dishonest person with the sole aim of tricking an unsuspecting victim out of something they want. To a scammer, it doesn’t matter who they target; they do not make allowances for vulnerable, elderly or people on

Read More »
Man anxious about his Timeshare during a divorce

Divorce and Your Timeshare

Divorce isn’t usually a happy occasion for anyone. When a marriage breaks apart there is emotional turmoil and a huge change to deal with, not to mention the difficult task of splitting all the assets. This can be made especially harder when there is a timeshare involved in the settlement as often neither party wants

Read More »
Trapped in timeshare ownership

Timeshare Owners Trapped in Unwanted Weeks

When you picture a timeshare, you probably think of a fantastic resort, sandy beaches and never-ending sun. But to others, it’s a living hell which they can’t get rid of, costing them thousands of pounds a year. They are trapped in unwanted weeks that make holidaying impossible or find themselves unable to keep up with

Read More »

Looking for the best way to get out of a bad timeshare situation?

Please fill out the form and we will get back to you shortly.

By clicking send message you confirm you are happy to be called by an adviser to help with your enquiry. They may contact you by phone, SMS or email. You can view our privacy policy here. 

Scroll to Top