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The Independent newspaper recently reported that timeshare owners of the popular Macdonald Resorts group are currently locked in a legal battle to protect their rights over their time shares.
The dispute started during the summer, after Macdonald Resorts developed a series of new proposals that would impact upon owners of time shares within the group. Understandably, owners reacted with anger at the proposals. They were particularly concerned that the proposals were being rushed through, without allowing owners the chance to fully understand what the implications would be for them.

The owners believe that their new rights have not been fully explained, and that the amended constitution put forward, is not actually an amendment, but a completely new document that has no similarity to the original version.

One of the proposals put forward by the Macdonald Resorts group would mean that anyone wishing to leave the group would be charged four years’ maintenance fees. Owners argue that older people, or those who do not have the immediate funds, in particular, would be penalised under the scheme. Many simply would not be able to sustain having their timeshare. Other members are also concerned that the proposal of a new points system will reduce the likelihood of them being able to use their existing timeshare, at the time of year that they normally use it.

The proposals were approved after being put forward to a vote. Not all timeshare owners, however, were in favour. Members in around two out of every eight Macdonald Resorts, equivalent to approximately 20,000 timeshare owners, are not accepting this approval without putting up a fight. They are now embroiled in a legal battle with Macdonald Resorts.

The timeshare owners are fighting to ensure that there is an end to the perpetuity clauses. They want to make sure that there is greater flexibility within fixed weeks or fixed unit frameworks. Ultimately, they want maintenance fees to be reduced. It seems that an exclusive, points-based, holiday club is not the preferred option for the battling group. As part of their campaign, the owners are seeking to have their rights legally protected, including not losing their right to sell their assets or have their assets stripped.

The legal war is set to be waged over the coming weeks, with the results being eagerly anticipated. Should the owners gain victory, it could well set a precedent for timeshare owners having a much greater say in how their resorts are run, and how their rights are protected.