Timeshare a millstone around your neck?
Once a much anticipated annual few weeks in the sun, as we age, the ownership of a Timeshare can become fraught with difficulty.
Although we are living longer, (according to Age UK in February 2016, nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their hundredth birthday), later life sadly can result in declining health and an inability to travel.
Research undertaken for Age UK by Defacto in 2008 reported that ‘in the UK, 11% of people over 65 found it difficult to get to the corner shop, 12% to the local supermarket, 14% to the post office, 12% to the GP and 25 % to the local hospital’.
Concerns that folk in later life often raise in relation to that once appreciated timeshare are:
- inability to use their Timeshare due to infirmity, ill health, or inability to obtain travel insurance,
- maintenance fees rising above the rate of inflation and are becoming increasingly difficulty to afford
- issues surrounding death or divorce
- concerns regarding inheritance and leaving the burden of timeshare fees to next of kin.
Indeed, many Timeshare contracts are ‘in perpetuity’, and will pass onto the next of kin. Fees have to be paid regardless of whether the Timeshare is used or not.
In addition, the industry is rife with scam companies who offer the prospect of selling or terminating a contract. In reality, often there is no buyer and many are mis-informed or, worse still, cheated out of considerable sums of money.
Be very wary of any company that requests up-front fees for the sale of a Timeshare, or who promises a guaranteed sale. Be particularly vigilant for any companies who ‘cold call’, even if they have details regarding your timeshare.
Unfortunately, there is no ‘do it yourself’ approach for Timeshare contracts. They are complex documents, often involving not only the original purchase contract but a web of ancillary contractual documents, such as club constitutions and trust deeds.
If you wish to exit a Timeshare contract, or have concerns regarding inheritance, please seek advice from a reputable expert specialist Timeshare Solicitor.
With a wealth of experience in this field, Athena Law can offer detailed advice based on current legislation and your particular circumstances. Although rarely necessary in Timeshare litigation, we have the right of audience in court, which other entities cannot.
Athena Law deals with dozens of Timeshare complaints at any given time and has experience of dealing with the more aggressive resorts and their debt collection agents. They also act for consumers who are bringing UK class actions against resorts and have a network of barristers and lawyers in other jurisdictions. This ensures that clients are given accurate advice and that their rights are robustly defended.
For those clients that merely wish to terminate their timeshare a fixed fee service is provided.
Stephen Boyd has appeared on Radio 5 Live, Talk Radio, and is a regular contributor to media articles on Timeshare.