How to cancel your timeshare is a complex topic, depending on whether you have simply changed your mind about a recent purchase or if you have decided after some years to cancel your timeshare contract.
Of the few cases where people wish to cancel, this usually happens within the first few days of the purchase, when people return home to the reality of their lives and start listening to the scaremongers at the office. Some begin to doubt that vacation dreams can come true. Fortunately, in most cases the memory of the timeshare unit outshines the doubts and owners find themselves delighting in their new vacation investment.
But what are your options if you do want to cancel your timeshare?
Timeshare Cancellation Period
Time plays an important role in whether or not you will be successful in canceling your timeshare contract. The earlier you do so, the more chance you will have to reclaim any money you have paid. There is a “cooling off” period in virtually all timeshare contracts, although each country will have its own regulations. This cooling off period is usually between 7 and 14 days and you must formally ask to cancel the timeshare within this time by sending notification to the timeshare developer. The likelihood of canceling your timeshare after this times is very slim, and only in extreme cases of unlawful sales or misrepresentation will owners be able to cancel their timeshare.
Your Legal Obligations
Unless your contract offers the option to cancel the timeshare contract, you are legally bound by its terms and conditions until the end of the agreement. Any breach of this will result in legal action against you, and this includes failing to pay maintenance fees. There are some special circumstances when you may be able to proceed with your timeshare cancellation, such as if you did not receive the product you purchased (usually through a pre-sale scam), if the contract is invalid according to law or if there was gross misrepresentation. In such instances, you are strongly recommended to see a lawyer rather than respond to companies that advertise on the Internet or local press to cancel your timeshare, these are usually timeshare scammers.
What are the steps for a timeshare cancellation?
Those wishing to cancel the timeshare before the end of the cooling off period must send written notice to the timeshare developer as soon as possible. Remember that the day you signed is day 1 and the time is counted in calendar days rather than business days. Often, reputable companies will provide a pro-forma for you to complete. Make sure you use recorded delivery when sending this notice.
For any case after the cooling off period, see a lawyer and collect any evidence of misrepresentation or illegality in preparation for your claim.
What are your options if you cannot cancel your timeshare?
Being unable to cancel your timeshare can easily turn out to be a blessing. Firstly, once owners begin to take advantage of their purchases, their satisfaction is often renewed. There are also a number of things you can do, such as sell or donate your timeshare, rent it for a profit or transfer it to friends or family.