What is a timeshare?

Timeshare is the name given to a form of holiday where you own a right to use a week (or longer) in an apartment, home, complex, boat, villa or holiday resort within a period stated in a contract. The contract can also be in perpetuity, meaning there is no designated end to the period in which you pay for this ‘week’.

When a person acquires a timeshare, they generally make a one-off payment to the seller, and then subsequent payments each consecutive year of ownership. These fees allow for the accommodation to be maintained; kept clean, in good order and pay local taxes. These payments have to be made, whether or not the consumer uses their timeshare rights.

Associations with Timeshare

Over the years, the name ‘timeshare’ has lost trust and respect, discrediting its image and brand that only a couple of decades ago was strong. This has led timeshare sellers to disassociate themselves with the word and move towards other titles that also encompass the meaning of a timeshare. Such phrases include ‘Holiday Club’, ‘Fractional Ownership’, Destination Club’ and ‘Vacation Ownership’. Both honest and dishonest traders have begun claiming their product is ‘not timeshare’. Because of this, legislation had to be introduced, so consumers are less confused and more informed. Therefore, under the law, the claims of those who try and pass off products under different names are all ‘timeshare’.

Although, the timeshare industry has stated that there are over six million individuals/families who own a timeshare worldwide. And, some of these are satisfied with their ownership, opposing the belief that all timeshares are traps. Combined with the exchange system, a timeshare can be a beneficial and money-saving idea for those who enjoy holidaying each year.

What Does Timeshare Involve? ​

Timeshare accommodation can often be of a higher standard than regular holiday hotels or rented accommodation. Many have exclusive facilities free to use for timeshare owners. However, all timeshares are self-catering. The accommodation standard varies dependent on each resort or building. Some can be small studios or large apartments, while others may be a high standard villa with multiple bedrooms.

The timeshare industry directly competes with the holiday industry, specifically the self-catering and villa rental division. Timeshare claims upon sale to consumers to be more beneficial than other types of holidays by offering long-term value-for-money.

The Different Types of Timeshare

There are two basic forms of a timeshare you could sign yourself to. There is the ‘Fixed Week’ where you own rights to a contractually specified week or weeks in the building. You can either return to this place every year on these dates or swap them with other timeshare owners through the exchange system for different weeks or alternative locations.

Then there is the ‘Floating System’ which includes point clubs. Rather than owning a specific week in the year, you own a week or weeks within a seasonal band of time. You need to book a specific week at this time each year. However, this is ‘subject to availability’ which can often leave individuals or families without a holiday one year or having to travel on a week which inconveniences them.

The most significant benefit of a timeshare is the certainty it provides as the timeshare holder has the contractual right to the accommodation for their specified week(s). Provided the consumer pays there contracted fees on time, they have the certainty of a holiday every year, with or without the need to book a week.

The Exchange System

If the consumer tires of their timeshare ownership and wishes to pass on their rights, this can often be done so. However, most timeshare owners use the exchange system to switch resorts rather than relinquish their timeshare rights. There are nearly 6,000 resorts in popular worldwide destinations to choose from of a similar standard to their own. This means that rather than trying to give up their timeshare, people can find new places to explore and visit yearly.

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.

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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

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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

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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

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