Many tourist that visited Spain from the early 1990s up until just a couple of years ago would have likely been approached by timeshare touts on the street offering gifts in exchange for their time. They would be shown around new luxury hotels before sitting through a sales presentation. The contracts used were called “offers to share use”. These contracts were sold by charging tourists an upfront fee whilst onsite with no cooling off periods.
As the timeshare industry began to thrive, these types of contract became so popular that a new law was introduced. In 1998 the Law 42/1998 was introduced. This gave people rights to sell shares in their properties for use of tourists with tax regulations. This directive was enforced on 6th January 1999 by the European Union. This law was imposed to protect the consumers from mis-selling practices.
The previous contracts we sold with a lifetime duration or having no end date. Since the 6th January 1999 timeshare contracts could only be for a duration of 3 – 50 years. This meant that any timeshares sold after this date which had a duration that exceeded 50 years could become null and void as the timeshares were sold illegally.
The new law also brought in a cooling off period as well as rights to withdraw from the contracts. The biggest benefit was that timeshare resorts could no longer charge up front payments or deposits within the 14 day cooling off period. The law states that if any payment was taken during the cooling off period then the contract could become null and void as well as the consumer being eligible to claim double the amount charged in compensation. This is double the amount that was paid within the 14 day cooling off period and not double the price paid in total for the timeshare.
The right to withdraw allowed the consumer the cancel the agreement within 10 days without any explanation. The difference between the 10 days and the 14 day cooling off period is that during a cooling off period a product can be returned if faulty, therefor between 11 – 14 days the consumer must prove that the timeshare was not as described when sold.
The right to terminate the contract would be extended for a period of 3 months if the following information has not been stated within the contract:
Duration and end date
Details of the public deed which regulates the timeshare regime.
Accurate description of the building and accommodation.
Declaration as to whether the building is finished or under construction
The initial price and the cost of annual maintenance fees.
Literal insertion of articles 10, 11 and 12 of the Law.
The services and facilities to which the acquirer is entitled.
If the above information was not stated in the timeshare contract, you would be entitled to claim double the amount in compensation. For example, if the timeshare resort accepted funds of £15,000 during the first 3 months, the timeshare resort is liable to pay compensation to the sum of £30,000.
If you fit the qualifying criterion and have a timeshare in Spain, you must terminate the timeshare contract in the correct way to be eligible to submit a claim. For more information and advice, arrange a free telephone consultation and speak to a specialist by filling out our compensation calculator from on the link below. We can look over your documentation and advice you of your options.