The A-Z Of Timeshare Jargon: Time For A Translation!

Trying to make head nor tail of your timeshare case can be difficult. Not only is there legal timeshare jargon to deal with, but many phrases are in Spanish. We are here to help you to understand things a bit clearer with this glossary of key terms and phrases.

Abogado – Spanish term for Lawyer

Accrued Time – Term used for the number of weeks accumulated from earlier years that are available for use in the current year.

Affiliated – Foreign Exchange Company term, used to indicate timeshare resorts with whom they have exchange agreements.

Apartado (de Correos) – Spanish term for P.O. Box Number

Banking  – Depositing a week of owned Timeshare into an Exchange Company “bank”. See also “Block Banking”.

Biennial – Use of a fixed week timeshare every other year. Owners are referred to as ‘Odd’ or ‘Even’ year owners.

Block (or Bulk) Banking -The depositing of a large number of weeks into the Exchange Company “bank” at the earliest time possible. This is usually done by the resort management, and it enables timeshare owners to get the maximum exchange bargaining power.

Bonus time or Bonus week – An additional week of use of the timeshare given to an owner as a bonus for purchasing or if additional weeks are temporarily available then a small additional charge may be made.

Buy/sell – A fraud in which a Timeshare consumer is falsely promised that an existing Timeshare will be sold to defray the cost of the new purchase.

Calendar – Each week in the year is given a “week number” and a calendar is provided to owners giving the actual date, each year, of their numbered week. Timeshare resorts calendar styles vary.

Club/Trust System – The most generally used system of Timeshare ‘ownership’ in the UK. Owners belong to a Club and their accommodation unit is held by Trustees who licence a ‘Right-to-Use’ to the ‘Owners’.

Constitution – These are the rules by which a timeshare resort is run. The collection of interrelated legal documents establishing the relationship between Timeshare owner, developer, trustee and management Company.

Cooling Off Period – The time frame in which a consumer may cancel their agreement without penalty, following signing for the purchase.

Deeded – Outright ownership of a week by a ‘Deed of Title‘, often registered at a central Land Registry.

Destination Club – Similar concept to a holiday club, in promising access to Timeshare accommodation but often the club lacks the certainty of rights and authority of access to the accommodation.

Developer – The company owning the freehold of the resort who build the accommodation and leisure facilities. Developers make their profit from the initial sale to ‘owners’.

End-user Finance – Provision of a loan to enable an owner to purchase a Timeshare mostly as an unsecured “linked loan ” arranged by the seller.

Escritura – The Spanish term for registering a ‘Deed of Title’. Similar to registration in the Land Registry in England and Wales

Escrow account – An account for the secure holding of money and assets by a third party until the full terms of a purchase agreement are satisfied.

Exchange Company – A Company that arranges for owners to exchange between resorts. Most charge a membership fee and all charge an exchange fee.

Exit Program – An often expensive option offered to Timeshare owners to enable them to buy out of their timeshare ownership.

Fixed Time – ‘Ownership’ of a specific week in a specific unit of accommodation. The week will always fall at the same time each year.

Floating Time – Timeshare use of an unspecified week, in an unspecified unit of accommodation and sometimes even at an unspecified resort. To make use of a floating time week the owner must either book the exact dates they want or wait a week to be allocated each year.

Fly-Buy – A holiday package where the resort pays the holiday costs of a prospective purchaser in return for that prospect attending a timeshare sales presentation.

Fractional Ownership – Ownership usually between 6 to 12 owners deciding how the weeks will be shared between them. This is mid-way between a Timeshare and full ownership

Hacienda  – Spanish Tax Office.

Holiday Club – A club which promises a number of weeks holiday, usually in Timeshare accommodation. Holiday Clubs are bad news as holidays are usually no cheaper than on the high-street.

IVA – Abbreviation for Spanish Value Added Tax.

Legal team (Trade term) – Group of experienced sales people used to threaten and harass consumers into continuing with their timeshare purchase.

Leisure Charge – A charge, in addition to the Management Fee, for use of leisure facilities on site. Often charged where leisure facilities are shared with other users.

Levy – The annual charge to members to pay for administration in a points club, this is in addition to any management charge.

Linked Agreement – A method of getting around the law which bans the taking of deposits. The Timeshare Purchase Agreement shows no deposit, but it is however linked with another payment, such as a holiday voucher, which is in reality, the deposit.

Lock off – Description of an accommodation unit which can be divided into two independent units, each with their own access. More common in the US than Europe.

Management Company – The Company contracted, usually by the Owners Club, to carry out all the day-to-day management of the resort. Very often owned or controlled by the developer.

Management Fees – The fees, usually paid annually by each timeshare ‘owner’ or points club member, to cover the costs of running the resort on a day-to-day basis and often including a contribution to a sinking fund.

Multi-ownership – Another term for Timeshare

Owners Club – The Club to which all owners at a resort (or points club) belong. Sometimes the Club is constituted as a Company, but generally as a Members Club. Not all resorts have an owners club.

Patrimonio – Tax Spanish wealth tax.

Perpetuity – Meaning ‘never ending’. Often found in contracts that last forever and have no limit. This has recently been deemed illegal and a cap of 50 years has been put in place by the Spanish Supreme Court.

Plus Valia Tax – Spanish capital gains tax.

Points Clubs – A Timeshare system where ‘owners’ hold points which entitle them to use a period every year from a choice of resorts.

Resale Brokers/Agents or Resellers – Businesses who buy Timeshare weeks from existing owners and sell them to new owners, or who act as agents to put an owner and a buyer in contact to enable a sale to be made. They will charge a commission on the sale.

Resort Condominiums International – (‘RCI’) The largest timeshare exchange organisation in the world.

Sales Inspection Visit  – (‘SIV’) Term used for prospective timeshare purchasers to stay at a resort for a few days at a low rate, on the condition that they attend a sales presentation.

Season – Exchange Company division of the weeks in a year into popular (Red), shoulder (White for RCI or Amber for II) and off peak (Blue for RCI or Green for II) for the calculation of trading power in exchanges.

Sinking Fund – A portion of the Management Fee specifically dedicated to ensuring that the main structure, furniture and fittings of accommodation units are kept in good condition.

Timeshare – A right to occupy a unit of accommodation for a period of time on a regular basis for a number of years. Timeshare can be in a single building, an apartment block or a boat.

Tour (trade phrase) – Sales presentation.

Trading power – The exchange trading value of a Timeshare week used by Exchange Companies to decide what week an owner will be offered in exchange for his own week. Influenced by the popularity of the resort area, quality of the resort, popularity of the week and size of the accommodation unit.

Trustees – A bank, trust Company or a group of individuals who hold Timeshare accommodation (and sometimes leisure facilities) ‘in trust’ on behalf of the owners and grant owners a ‘right –to-use’ through a licence (‘Ownership Certificate’). Trustees provide security for owners in the event that a developer fails financially. Some trustees may have added responsibilities such as ensuring the continuity of the Owners Club.


If you have concerns about your timeshare and are struggling to get to grips with the words and phrases in your contract, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help to clarify the terms and point you in the right direction.



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