Much of the focus during the timeshare purchase process is on the upfront cost. While maintenance fees do get a mention, their role tends to be downplayed during the decision-making process – and when the process of setting fees is considered, it’s easy to understand why!
Timeshare maintenance fees cover the cost of maintaining the property and the resort. They are split across all owners. However, there is no fixed formula in place to calculate maintenance fees. Nor is there any legislation that dictates how much fees can be increased by each year.
“When it comes to maintenance fees, owners are really at the mercy of their timeshare companies. There is no upper limit to annual fee increases and owners are contractually obliged to keep on paying the fees for the duration of their ownership. As such, resorts can increase fees to any level they please and owners have to foot the bill.”
Jodi Beard, Timeshare Compensation
The Christmas/New Year period is when many timeshare companies send out their annual maintenance fee bills, meaning that families are left feeling the strain of increased fees over the festive season. The American Resort and Development Association states that maintenance fees rise by an average of 8% per year.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the value of men’s pay in the UK has dropped by more than 7% since 2008, while women’s has fallen by nearly 2%. The combination of wage values falling and timeshare maintenance fees rising is not a happy one for many families.
“Crippling maintenance fees are a frequent concern of those looking to exit their timeshare commitments. Fee rises have no grounding in the economic reality that many UK families face these days and timeshare companies are under no obligation to take into account things like falling wage values. This can push many owners past breaking point in terms of what they can and can’t afford.”
Belinda Rollins, Timeshare.lawyer
Falling wage values and rising maintenance costs mean that many timeshares become increasingly unaffordable with each passing year. The result is that many families are seeking ways out of their contracts, feeling that they’ve been pushed into something that wasn’t what they originally thought they were getting into.
For an increasing number of owners, the courts are providing sympathetic agreement. The Spanish supreme court, for example, has deemed that timeshare contracts are illegal if money was taken during the cooling off period. ‘In perpetuity’ contracts (those that last for more than 50 years) and ‘floating weeks’ contracts are also now considered illegal, while pressurised sales techniques are increasingly coming under the microscope.
“We would urge anyone who thinks they might have a case for their timeshare contract to be deemed illegal to look into the matter in depth. Our online compensation calculator is a great starting point and our team are happy to talk through the requirements of the legal process with all those who feel trapped by their unaffordable timeshare. We’re seeing some real success for owners in the courts, which is giving hope to many families this Christmas.”
Jodi Beard, Timeshare Compensation
For more information, please visit www.TimeshareCompensation.co.uk, call 0800 046 5855 or email Info@TimeshareCompensation.co.uk.
Timeshare Compensation and Timeshare.lawyer are a trading names of Advanced Business Consultants Legal SL.