For some people, investing in a timeshare seems like a huge commitment; and while the idyllic timeshare property appeared to be the solution to your vacation needs when visiting the resort, now that you are back home in reality, your enthusiasm is a distant memory. Those around you try to remind you that anything so amazing is just too good to be true.
Many people who find themselves in this position think about canceling their timeshare, having forgotten what it was that inspired them to buy. Luckily, the majority of these cases do not act on this impulse to cancel their timeshare, and are grateful later when they can take advantage of yearly vacations in the world’s most spectacular destinations.
But what can you do if you decide to cancel your timeshare?
When to Cancel
Timeshare developers and vacation clubs usually have an obligatory “cooling off” period which can range from 7 to 14 days, depending on the country where you purchased your timeshare. During this time you are able to cancel your timeshare contract and sometimes get your deposit money back. Unfortunately, once this time period has passed, you will only be entitled to cancel the timeshare if you there is such a clause allowing you to do so in your contract.
It is important to note that after the initial cooling off period you are legally bound to your purchase and in most cases will not be able to cancel your timeshare. You contract is a legally binding document and you must adhere to its clauses unless you can prove one of the following: you did not receive the product, the contract is legally invalid or there was gross misrepresentation. In these cases, you are advised to find a reputable lawyer to present your case. Also note that a breach in your contract includes not paying maintenance fees.
What can you do to cancel your timeshare contract?
If you are within the cooling off period, you must give written notice to the developer as soon as possible before the end of the period, taking into consideration that day 1 is when you signed and each calendar day thereafter is counted (not business days). Most reputable timeshare companies should have provided a pro-forma cancellation form that you must fill out. When sending this letter, do so by recorded delivery.
If you want to cancel your timeshare after of the cooling off period, the best advice is to get a lawyer and avoid companies on the Internet or in the local press who claim they can get your money back and cancel your timeshare. Often these are scams and you end up losing your money and your timeshare.
Options if you cannot cancel your timeshare
Not being able to cancel your timeshare is often a blessing in disguise as most timeshare owners are very happy with their purchase once they start using them. However, if there are financial reasons for your need to cancel, then one of the following options can turn your timeshare saga into positive experience:
- Sell your timeshare
- Transfer your unit to a family member or friend
- Donate your timeshare
- Rent your timeshare.
- Avoid companies claiming they will take on your timeshare or help you cancel it. Get a lawyer
- Check out the consumer rights for your country and that of the country of purchase.
- Reconsider if you really want to cancel.