It has recently been reported that the Tatoc Timeshare Association has gained charitable status, following an unprecedented reversal of decision by the Charity Commission.
Tatoc, an organisation run by timeshare owners for timeshare owners, was formed in 1989, and is today the biggest consumer association for timeshare owners in Europe.

After initially rejecting Tatoc’s application to register a charitable consumer helpline for timeshare owners, as it was not considered exclusively charitable, the Charity Commission did agree, however, that the Tatoc helpline did have the potential to be charitable.

A second application from Tatoc was finally accepted following a review. In this new application, Tatoc made a number of amendments and only included the helpline in its bid to gain charitable status, which will be known as the Tatoc Consumer Helpline. This new charity was officially registered on 17 October, 2014, and will appear on the register of charities under section 29 of the Charities Act 2011.

The Charity Commission has released a statement to explain that, following amendments and provision of supplementary information, the Tatoc Consumer Helpline does include some purposes that have the potential to be considered of a charitable nature. The new objectives set out by Tatoc fit in with descriptions laid down in section 3(1) of the Charities Act 2011, and are for the public benefit.

For anyone interested in time shares, or those that have already invested in the timeshare industry, the Tatoc Consumer Helpline has the ability to function in an educational and informative way for the benefit of the public.

It can provide impartial and accurate information to consumers with regards to their legal rights on buying or selling time shares. Crucially, it can help to provide the relevant information that it is vital for consumers to avoid exposure to fraudulent scams or misrepresentation. By raising awareness of the pitfalls of timeshare ownership, such as coming into contact with bogus dealers, it can help to educate consumers and reduce the amount of distress or financial hardship they could experience, if proceeds did fall into the wrong hands.

The news that the Tatoc Consumer Helpline has gained charitable status is great news all round for everyone operating legitimately in the timeshare industry. Not only can it provide the information and assistance that consumers need, but it can help to boost the profile of the industry, helping to regulate processes and procedures. For anyone new to the industry, or thinking about buying or selling a timeshare, knowing that a charitable organisation exists like the Tatoc Consumer Helpline can offer the right kind of encouragement and confidence an individual might need to become a part of the industry.