Why is this important?
You’ve changed your mind about a timeshare agreement
Buying a timeshare agreement gives you the right to holiday accommodation for a set amount of time each year. For example, you might pay £10,000 to buy the second week in May in a one-bedroom apartment in Tenerife for 20 years.
If you’ve changed your mind, you may be able to get out of the agreement, depending on your circumstances. You may not have to go ahead with your timeshare ownership if you’re within the 14 day cooling-off period or if the timeshare company hasn’t given you certain key information about your agreement, including your right to cancel.
Read this page to find out more about when you can get out of a timeshare agreement if you’ve changed your mind.
What you need to know
Timeshare agreements signed in a European Economic Area (EEA) country are protected by The Timeshare Regulations. Check if your timeshare agreement is covered by the timeshare regulations.
For more advice on timeshare agreements signed in Europe outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre (ECC). They will help you try and sort out your problem with the timeshare company and can give you legal advice. Go to: www.ukecc.net, or telephone their consumer helpline on: 08456 04 05 03
Are you still within the cooling-off period?
When you sign a timeshare agreement covered by the timeshare regulations, the law gives you a cooling-off period during which you can change your mind about going ahead with the agreement.
The law calls this withdrawing from your agreement. You don’t have to give a reason for withdrawing and you shouldn’t be charged a cancellation fee, or asked to pay for anything else.
The cooling-off period usually lasts 14 days from the day you signed the agreement, but it can be extended under certain circumstances. For example, the cooling-off period is extended if you haven’t been given certain information or told about your right to cancel. This may mean that you don’t have to go ahead with your timeshare ownership.
Some timeshare agreements aren’t covered by the timeshare regulations and so you don’t get an automatic right to a cooling-off period.
Are you outside the cooling-off period?
If you signed your timeshare agreement more than 14 days ago and the timeshare company gave you all the information they should have done, then you are probably no longer within the cooling-off period. If your cooling-off period is over, you should check whether you have any other rights to cancel your timeshare agreement. For example, you should check whether:
- there is a specific cancellation clause in the terms and conditions of your agreement and what this says
- you were given all the right written information about your right to cancel the timeshare agreement - if they didn't, your agreement might not be legally enforceable
- your timeshare company is providing the services they promised in your contract – if they aren't, this could be breach of contract
- you were given false information when you signed your timeshare agreement – if you were, this could be misrepresentation
- you signed the agreement before 23 Feb 2011 and it’s unenforceable under the doorstep selling regulations.
If you weren’t given all the right written information about your right to cancel your timeshare agreement, this is a criminal offence which you can report to Trading Standards.
Other useful information
For more help with dealing with timeshare companies contact:
Telephone: 0845 230 2430
Resort Development Organisation
For more help with queries about timeshares outside Europe, go to www.arda.org