The concept of timeshare vacations can be pretty alluring when presented by the marketer. The destination is usually exotic, and the location of the retreat looks really amazing. The facilities look to be the ultimate in luxury and the entire deal seems to represent a great opportunity of owning a patch of paradise to enjoy wonderful vacations year after year at prices that are too good to be true. However, despite the initial enthusiasm, most people do not end up using up their timeshare year after year. In many cases, a feeling of disillusionment sets in because neither the retreat is as good as it looked in the promotional literature,nor the facilities as anticipated. Also, the numerous charges hidden in the fine print make the vacation not such a good deal after all.
When reality sets in, many timeshare customers want out of the agreement, however, they find exiting more difficult than anticipated.Most customers asking the timeshare company to take back the unit and refund their money or even to find customers for their units usually find the representatives displaying a remarkable lack of enthusiasm in shocking contrast to the eagerness they had shown when making the original sale. The response invariably is that the agreement cannot be terminated or that the unit cannot be sold again, or a number of other such reactions aimed at discouraging customers seeking a return of their investments.
Cancellation of a Timeshare Contract Is Possible
Even though a timeshare contract, like any other contract, is binding on both the parties, it does not mean that it cannot be terminated or canceled. Even though timeshare companies keep on insisting that the contracts are sacrosanct, it is simply not a fact. It is possible for all contracts to be canceled for a number of reasons. Any party can also terminate a contract with no other obligation but to be liable for any claim made for the breach of contract.
Depending upon where the customer lives, the cancellation of the timeshare contract may be termed in different ways such as revocation, rescission, cancellation, or words to that effect. Whatever they are officially called, they all mean the ending of the contract due to a legal reason. Apart from a mutual mistake or fraud, a contract may also be annulled if one of the parties is a minor or legally incompetent otherwise. In such a circumstance, the customer could file a lawsuit with the help of an experienced real estate law practice for resetting the situation in such a way to mean that the original contract had never been executed. The same thing can be done if there is a provision in the contract allowing it, however, that is quite rare. Consequent to this, the timeshare use ends and the payments refunded except that for any benefits already enjoyed before the cancellation.
Cooling Off Period and Other Exit Tactics
It is not uncommon to find rescission period built into timeshare agreements. In fact, there are many states that require timeshare companies to have this provision for cooling off so that customers can avoid the fallouts of impulsive decisions that have financial ramification for a long period. During the allowable period, a customer can opt out of the contract and get the money back.
The contract may also be terminated by one or both the parties using a provision built into the contract. The reasons can be varied; the company may terminate the contract if a customer does not pay the maintenance fees due or both parties can agree to terminate the contract if it is allowed as per the terms of the contract after a particular period simply by serving notice and walking away after prescribed time. Timeshare contracts may also be terminated if one of the parties breaches the contract with their actions enabling the other to be released from the contract.
Even though it is possible to end the contract legally in many ways, often the simplest way is to request the company to buy the unit back. While the company may not at first be willing, often the threat of expensive litigation can convince them to buy back the unit. Alternatively, you can explore the opportunity of selling off your unit to another party by listing it online. You should ideally consult an experienced real estate attorney to identify the best way of getting out of the contract.
Author bio: Martin Chase is a senior partner of a leading real estate law practice in La Jolla, CA. Though a much sought-after lawyer, Martin does a fair amount of pro bono work and is a prolific blogger on real estate legal issues.