A recent episode of BBC financial programme Rip Off Britain: Holidays highlighted the situation lots of timeshare owners find themselves in if unwanted constitutional changes are made by the Timeshare’s committee. Many timeshare owners are feeling short-changed as they cannot use the same weeks they have become accustomed to, and in some cases they are not even allowed to holiday in the timeshare property they consider to be theirs!

Timeshare holidays boomed in the ‘80s, but popularity in timeshare ownership has been declining in recent years, prompting many owners to begin looking into selling their timeshare. Many timeshare companies are now moving away from the traditional setup whereby owners buy specific ‘weeks’ in a chosen property. A popular alternative for timeshare companies is to move to a ‘floating week’ timeshare, which is exactly what happened to Gary Pennington, who sought the help of Rip Off Britain.

What does a floating timeshare week mean?

The traditional timeshare situation is where holidaymakers return to their timeshare for the same weeks every year. A floating timeshare week offers no guarantee of the time of year you can holiday in the property or even which property you will be staying in.

A Timeshare committee may vote in favour of floating timeshare weeks in order to combat falling revenue and diminished popularity in certain properties.

Timeshare Deeds of Ownership – What rights do I have?

Your rights of timeshare ownership are detailed in your timeshare constitution. Make sure to check your terms and conditions thoroughly, as there may be a clause that says the committee can make any changes they see fit if a majority vote in favour of the changes; such terms are outlined in your constitutional agreement.

What is a constitution?

A constitution is the legal document that details the relationships between the timeshare owners and all other parties involved, such as the management company, the resort company etc. The constitution is a legally binding collection of documents, rules, guidelines, and certificates that owners should be well-versed in on all aspects, especially the terms and conditions. The constitution is similar to a contract in terms of the way it outlines what timeshare owners can expect when purchasing, selling and using their timeshare.

How does a committee work?

Many Timeshare complexes are run by committees. A committee is made up of a group of Timeshare owners and usually also by the Timeshare company. Timeshare committees decide how to best manage the resorts, making decisions on all aspects of the property from maintenance fees to the servicing of the apartments.

Many Timeshare committees strive to nurture the relationships between the owners and themselves, however, when committees make decisions that owners feel aren’t with their best interests at heart, these relationships can deteriorate, leading timeshare owners to seek advice on selling their timeshare.

What happens if the timeshare management company owns a majority share when it comes to voting changes?

Terms of a timeshare agreement can be changed significantly if such an eventuality has been stated and agreed to at the point of timeshare purchase in the Timeshare ownership Terms and Conditions. In the case detailed in Rip Off Britain, the Terms and Conditions stated that the committee was entitled to amend part, or all, of the constitution at any time, as long as changes were voted on and agreed to by a majority of the committee.

Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this situation, whereby they feel as if their property weeks have been taken away from them. This can be particularly upsetting if they have been using the same weeks in the same property for many years. If you are unhappy with any constitutional changes and are looking for a way out of your timeshare, book a consultation with one of our experts today.


Image Credit: G.e.o.r.g.e (Flickr)