Timeshare

Timeshare is a contract concluded for over a year under which a consumer acquires the right to use a residential building or facility in a pre-defined period each year for a fee. The contract involves a consideration, of course.

In practice it means that after you conclude a timeshare contract, you can spend your holidays, for instance, in a two-room apartment No 100 in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria) in each 18th calendar week for the next 30 years.

Your rights

Before you sign a contract

The trader must provide the consumer in due time, that is before the consumer is bound by the contract or offer, with clear and comprehensible written data in the form of a standard information form. When a contract is signed, the form becomes and integral part thereof.

Generally, the information form should include the following:

  • information on acquired rights,
  • information on the subject matter of the contract (real estate description and location, description of services and facilities the consumer will have access to),
  • additional information on the accommodation in construction,
  • information on costs (full contract cost and a description of price increase possibilities, list of mandatory statutory charges, methods of calculating charges related to the real estate, administrative costs, etc.),
  • information on contract termination.

The form should be prepared as the consumer chooses, in the language of the Member State where the consumer resides or the citizen of which he/she is, if it is an EU official language. Hence, if the customer lives in Poland, the form should be at least in Polish.

Timeshare contract

Apart from standard provisions, a timeshare contract includes the information form provided to the consumer before contract conclusion. The contract must essentially include provisions on the consumer’s right to withdraw from the contract.

The contract is prepared in writing, in the paper form or on a durable medium, in the language(s) of the Member State where the consumer resides or the citizen of which he/she is, as the consumer chooses (if it is an EU official language). The consumer must receive one copy of the signed contract.

When concluding a timeshare contract, the consumer must be aware that it is prohibited to take any advance payments, provide guarantees, block funds in a bank account or explicitly acknowledge a consumer’s debt towards an trader before the contract withdrawal deadline.

In the case of long-term holiday product contracts, concluded for at least a year, payments are made in instalments. Any form of payment of the price set out in the contract other than an instalment system is prohibited. Any fees are divided into equal annual instalments (a written request for payment is sent on paper or another durable medium at least 14 calendar days before each payment deadline). Starting from the second instalment, the consumer can terminate the contract with no sanctions, with a notice submitted to the trader 14 calendar days from the receipt of a request for payment of a given instalment.

Resignation from a timeshare contract

A consumer has the right to withdraw from a timeshare contract without the need to state the reasons behind the decision in 14 calendar days.

The period for withdrawal starts running:

  • on the date when a contract or a binding preliminary contract is concluded,
  • on the date when the customer received a copy of the contract or the binding preliminary contract, if it is later than when the contract or the binding preliminary contract was concluded.

The period for withdrawal ends:

  • after a year and 14 calendar days from the date when the contract or the binding preliminary contract is concluded, if a separate standard contract withdrawal form is not filled in by the trader and provided to the customer in writing, in the paper form or on another durable medium,
  • after 3 months and 14 calendar days from the date when the contract or the binding preliminary contract is concluded, if the information required in section 3 of the standard information form, including the standard information form itself, is not provided to the customer in writing, in the paper form or on another durable medium.

Exercising the right to withdraw from a contract, the consumer must notify the trader of this decision on paper or another durable medium. To that end, the consumer can use the standard form. The consumer bears no costs of withdrawal from the contract.

Complaint

Consumers having reservations as to services provided by an trader should submit them directly to the entity with which they had concluded a contract, in writing. The law does not stipulate any specific deadline for complaint submission.

Legal basis

Directive 2008/122/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 January 2009 on the protection of consumers in respect of certain aspects of timeshare, long-term holiday product, resale and exchange contracts.

Additional information

ECC-Net report Timeshares and long-term holiday products

Remember

  • Do not make hasty decisions! The idea behind timeshare is to spend the same week in the same place for many years. You need to think if this form of spending your holidays satisfies your needs.
  • The trader must confirm all promises and prices in writing in the information form or in the final contract. You have the right to full information.
  • Make sure that what you are signing is actually a timeshare contract, not for instance a holiday club membership.
  • Read the contract carefully before you sign it. Do not sign a contract in a foreign language you do not speak! Do not sign any documents under pressure of time or anybody.
  • Be careful about promotions that consist in a price reduction upon immediate decision (they are frequently “Today Only” promotions).
  • Pay attention to any unfair clauses in the contract, such as those which prohibit contract withdrawal, impose an excessive contractual penalty, or set out jurisdiction of courts far from your place of residence.
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