Buyers of timeshare have been protected through Europe wide legislation since 1997 and in 2011 an updated Directive (2008/122/EC) was introduced, giving consumers enhanced levels of protection.
The Directive now also covers timeshare resales exchanges and most importantly holiday clubs. It also includes boats, caravans and cruise ships.
The key elements of the new Directive are:
- A 14-day cooling off period wherever people buy in the European Union
- An absolute ban on upfront fees, so that deposits may not be taken during the cooling off period
- Contracts and all other supporting documentation must be accurate and honest
- Contracts must be provided in the language of the choice of the buyer (as long as this is an official language of the EU)
- All ancillary contracts such as an exchange agreement or a linked loan or finance agreement are automatically terminated if the consumer cancels during the cooling off period
The Directive goes further for holiday clubs as consumers will be able to pay the company in equal yearly instalments and have the opportunity to withdraw every year.
A full copy of the Directive, can be viewed at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:033:0010:0030:EN:PDF