Getting out of a Spanish Timeshare Ownership I – SPAIN (including Canaries & Balearics)

Option 1 – if you bought at any time during the last 35 years – since 1980.
Many purchase contracts for Timeshare ownership in Spain (and Portugal) are considered null and void in that they fail to comply with specific requirements in the general Spanish (or Portuguese) Consumer law. These contracts are therefore unenforceable.

This applies to:

  • both ‘entrusted’ and ‘escritura’ (deeded) ownership;
  • resorts in mainland Spain, the Canaries the Balearics and Portugal;
  • purchases made at any time in the last 35 years, and
  • irrespective of where you were when you bought and irrespective of your nationality

Option 2 – if you bought before 7 January 1999
In addition to Option 1 (above) the Spanish Civil Code (clauses 1262 et seq) may provide the legal right for timeshare owners to terminate their membership; to have their contract declared null and void and to recover all the money they paid (including interest). However, the reality would be that timeshare trader would strongly resist paying back any money forcing the owner to take Court action in Spain. But, faced with the risk of losing such an action, the trader is more likely to simply accept the return of the ownership without any payment to or from the owner.

However, in the event the consumer wishes to cancel under this option, please make contact with us and we will be only to happy to help to cancel:-

If you want legal help to end your Spanish ownership using the Spanish Civil Code option then contact CostaLuz Lawyers.

Option 3 – Deposits: If you bought after 16 March 2012
Spain implemented the new Timeshare Directive on 17 March 2012 which provides purchasers buying holidays (i.e. timeshare or holiday club) for a period of more than one year with a 14 day cooling off period and a total ban on the taking of a deposit. The 14 day period is automatically extended if the seller fails to provide certain information in writing.

How to cancel:
If you are still within the 14 day cooling of period or any extended cooling off period, write by “International Signed For”, posting no later than the final day of the cancellation period (day one is the day of signing) stating that you are cancelling the purchase agreement.

If they took a payment (illegally) then also demand a return of that within 10 days. At the date of this update, this option may now have been lost to new claimants.

Updated: 27th August 2015


Getting Out of a Timeshare II – In General

Option 1. Sell to Another Consumer
This option is somewhat difficult! The demand for timeshare is at an all time low with almost all weeks in mid and low season, floating weeks and points being somewhat worthless. Consumers are advised to consider a transfer with a reverse premium using a recommended broker. Only fixed high season weeks in top quality resorts appear to be selling although prices are only a fraction of what the owner originally paid.

There are now an estimated 400 owners wanting to sell timeshare for every prospective timeshare buyer, therefore the chances of making a quick sale are most unlikely.

The best chance and peace of mind in making a sale is through a resale broker recommended by TCA. Once you have decided which broker(s) you want to deal with, do not fix a specific price but say “offers” which increases the chance of making a sale. Remember from the 23 February 2011, it is a criminal offence for a re-sale broker to take any money, for any purpose, from a seller (or buyer) until a sale has been completed.

In respect to an advertisement in your resort or club, you might find a buyer. This said, many resorts block such adverts because it indicates the poor resale value of the ownership to other owners or potential owners.

Alternatively an advertisement on eBay, in a local shop, Post Office or your place of work may be effective.

A paid for advert in a newspaper is almost certainly a waste of money.

Option 2. Hand back the ownership to the resort or club
Some resorts offer a free “Get Out” to any owner who writes to request termination; others only provide this opportunity to those who are over 75 and/or are unable to travel or are “bankrupt and/or insolvent” – see National Debt Line for advice.

A number of traders are offering a “Buy-Out” scheme to enable owners to terminate their ownership. 
WARNING: Some of these “Buy-Out” schemes are fraudulent – therefore the consumer should be very careful when approached about buy out schemes.

Option 3. ‘Walk away’ by stopping payment of the annual fees
This is still an effective method, but attracts significant risks. In respect to the stopping of payments by the consumer – this may provoke an adverse reaction from the timeshare company and further strain future relationships between the two parties. In response, it is likely, that the timeshare companies will threaten those who default. If a consumer seriously considers this option then it is advisable that they have a back up plan and have consulted others for sound legal advice. In saying this, in some cases, it has brought the issues into focus and settlements for consumers have resulted.

A large number of consumers have taken timeshare companies to Court on the grounds of misrepresentation and have had their contracts voided. When voided, compensation has also been paid by the timeshare companies. The Timeshare Consumer Association has expended time and money into obtaining specific advice in respect to misrepresentation which consumers must consider prior to embarking on a claim.

Option 4. Trade in your ownership for a week/weeks in a totally different resort
If your existing ownership is not delivering the quality and reasonably priced service that you want then it is possible to get out of that ownership in exchange for ownership in another resort – all for a very modest cost. Talk to any on the TCA recommended list of resale brokers.

Some charities are still interested in taking over timeshare ownership.

If you have a temporary cash problem then consider:

Renting out your week(s) to provide a temporary respite from the annual fees.

Arranging a payment scheme with the resort/club:

NOTE: If you are left a timeshare in a will of a deceased person you are entitled to reject the bequest by writing to the executors of the will ‘disclaiming’ the bequest. The timeshare ownership then reverts to the executors. If you are in a position of being an executor and have a need of bringing the timeshare to an end, please contact the Timeshare Consumer Association who will pass on the details of reverse premium brokers who will dispose of the timeshare and bring finality to the deceased estate.

WARNINGS
There are numerous fraud companies offering to ‘relieve’ you of your timeshare liability. Do not do business with anyone who cold calls you or advertises such a service in a newspaper or on TV or on the internet. You will end up many thousands of pounds poorer and still own the timeshare.

Even if you do actually find a buyer some resorts refuse to effect a transfer because they ‘don’t like the buyer’ or give some other spurious reason. Whilst this is an illegal interference in a proper contract, it may be impossible to complete the sale quickly. In some cases the resort may kill the sale by imposing an exorbitant ‘transfer fee’. Reverse premium brokers are quite used to this improper conduct and may take on the timeshare companies through the courts to obtain a sale/declaration.

Your resort/club may offer you a deal to get out. You pay them a lot more, money and they promise to release you from the continuing obligation to pay.

Which looks distinctly like extortionate practice at most, grossly unfair at the best and should be avoided.

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Last modified: March 11, 2016