Home > Property > Timeshares and Your Rights

Timeshares and Your Rights

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 17 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
Consumer Rights Timeshare Trading

Like so many people up and down the country, you might well receive an invitation to a timeshare presentation offering a prize or a free holiday. If it happens to you and you decide to attend and buy a timeshare, you have a number of rights that the seller has to respect. As defined in law, when you buy a timeshare, you're buying the right to spend time, usually one or two weeks each year, in a particular property, for three years or more. The law doesn't apply to holiday packs and vacation clubs schemes, to timeshares under 36 months to floating vessels like narrow or canal boats.

What You Should Do

Be very wary of any kid of hard sell. Don't sign on the spot. Insist on time to think it over and get advice from others. Walk out if the situation seems pressured, and never sign anything you don't understand. If you're made any promises that aren't in the contract, insist on having them written down explicitly and plainly, with no room for ambiguity. The seller shouldn't ask for money from you at the time of signing.

Before you buy, ask yourself if the offer represents good value for money, consider what you'll also have to pay in maintenance costs, whether you have a say in how the timeshare operates and whether exchanges with other owners are possible (if so, where are they and when are they available). Understand too that the value of timeshares goes down, and that you might have difficulty re-selling yours, and that any money-back guarantees you're given could actually prove to be difficult to claim in practice.

You might consider contacting the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe, which can advise of reputable timeshare companies.

You're Rights

If you're buying a timeshare anywhere in the European Economic Area, you have these minimum rights:

  • A 10-day (14 calendar days under U.K. law) cooling-off period, which begins when you sign the timeshare contract. During that time you can cancel the contract for any reason at all without paying a penalty.
  • No seller can ask you for or accept money from a buyer during the cooling-off period.
  • If you've signed a credit agreement linked to the timeshare purchase, if you cancel the timeshare contract then that will also be cancelled.
  • You must be given a written contract and documentary information in your own language, and key information from the timeshare brochure must be included in the contract if the purchase goes ahead.
  • Your contract must include the names and addresses of the parties to the contract, an accurate description and completion date for the property, as well as the purchase price and other charges relating to the use of common facilities, as well as any taxes, fees and administrative charges.


If you have a problem with a timeshare company, contact Trading Standards (www.tradingstandards.gov.uk), which is responsible for enforcing timeshare law in the UK. The Office of Fair Trading (www.oft.gov.uk) will act where there's evidence of malpractice, and the Association of British Travel Agents (www.abta.com) runs an advice scheme and a conciliation service for disputes.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I booked flights to Indonesia online on 15/8/13.I paid by debit card.I then got a receipt from Worldpay on behalf of Travel Unravel.Basically thy took the money but now are sayng they cannot supply the flights I booked.How do I get my money back.They are Atol protected but as no booking has officially taken place I presume they can o nothing.
Jools - 17-Aug-13 @ 1:11 PM
We paid into a holiday club 10yrs ago by credit card and wish to claim money back. The company has since gone bump. We did not know until recently that you could claim this back. Can the Credit card company refuse to pay us.
Audrey Clark - 28-Aug-12 @ 6:13 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kath
    Re: What If Your Plumber Makes Mistakes?
    I have a completely new bathroom fitted and everything seems to be wrong and all the other bathroom companies who have…
    20 March 2019
  • Mws
    Re: Buying a New Car: Your Rights
    I’ve just found out that my jaguar is being recalled as the published emissions are significantly higher that advertised in real…
    18 March 2019
  • Jenny
    Re: A Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015
    We bought my platinum and diamond engagement ring in June 2018. We got engaged in January this year so I have only…
    14 March 2019
  • Sad lady
    Re: When Am I Not Entitled to a Refund?
    I bought a sofa that would easily fit into my room. I was given very basic measurements by the seller. I have a normal…
    12 March 2019
  • Shell
    Re: What If Your Plumber Makes Mistakes?
    We bought a new build 3 years ago and we have just had a leak coming through our living room ceiling. We contacted the…
    28 February 2019
  • Aga
    Re: The Fake EHIC Card Scam
    This happed also to me:/ I used just yesterday this scam service, wasn't sure maybe a some of the low about " free of charged" been…
    27 February 2019
  • Ido
    Re: The Fake EHIC Card Scam
    I have just been scammed. The website seemed official. They charged me 24.50 to renew. I only discovered today when I received the card…
    22 February 2019
  • Annetta
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    I bought a car in August last year after a week i discovered a faults garage offering to help but that was 4 hours away from him…
    20 February 2019
  • Nik
    Re: How to Complain
    Purchased oak coloured laminated flooring from retailer who fitted it over a large area. 7 years on the ends of some planks have faded at an angle,…
    20 February 2019
  • BigAl
    Re: The Fake EHIC Card Scam
    I too have been caught by this scan at the cost of £27.50. The website looks official and is clearly still up and running on the 14/02/19…
    19 February 2019