One of the biggest reasons why many people fall into the trap of scammers and frauds is that they do know their legal rights when buying a timeshare. It is always a good practice to know your rights when you are signing any contract or agreement. As with any other industry timeshare industry is also prone to unscrupulous tactics by some people. Everyday you hear a story of somebody being duped into buying a timeshare and the property doesn’t even exist or in some cases, is not up to the standard and what they were promised. We hear these horror stores and we should learn from these. Here are few things that you should remember while buying a timeshare.
To understand our rights let us understand different types of timeshare plans first. There are basically two types – deeded or title timeshares and right to use also known as licensed to use timeshares. A deeded and title and ownership means the buyer owns the timeshare and acquires a specific facility for a specified length of time each year, for a specified number of years (generally 40 years) and a deed. A right to use timeshare means the buyer has the right to acquire all the above mentioned things except the deed i.e. title. A deeded timeshare is inheritable whereas a right to use timeshare is like a lease which expires after a certain number of years.
The timeshare industry seems to have acquired the reputation of the used car industry in terms of the selling tactics they use. It all starts with an invitation to a presentation offering you an expensive gift. When you actually go there it turns out to be a pressure selling session (hence the comparison with the much maligned used car dealer) with somebody who won’t let you go until you sign a paper. And the expensive gift also turns out to be a mere gimmick. And there’s also the sheer trauma of sitting through the presentation which can go on for a full two hours of pressure selling tactics. By law people are supposed to be informed about the length of time they have to sit before receiving a free gift. They should also be informed about the physical conditions of the facility. Timeshare companies are legally prohibited from misrepresenting the market value of the timeshare property. They are also supposed to fully inform you of the resale or exchange potential of the timeshare property.
The law also prohibits the timeshare companies from not including the oral promises that were made before the purchase of the property in the written contract and also including any kind of fees that were never ever mentioned orally. The rules may vary from state to state. Some states also have a cool-off period usually of two weeks to allow you to cancel your contract should you change your mind.
Apart from these rights one should also consider things such as do you really want to buy the timeshare? Did you properly check out the facility? Did you contact the Better Business Bureau? Did you talk to any of the existing owners in the timeshare property? Do you plan to rent it? Do you plan on reselling it? Do you plan on exchanging vacation sites frequently? The answers to all of these questions should be found out before making a final decision about buying a timeshare.