TESS has investigated many Fractional Ownership Contracts and those investigations have indicated that many irregularities exist, whereby both UK and European Laws appear to have been breached. That being our belief, we have further tendered our opinion to Litigation Funders. They too have come to the same conclusion, therefore, TESS has provided those funders with the opportunity in providing Litigation finance for consumers claims. On Friday last week, TESS has received the “thumbs up”. Therefore, TESS is now accepting and processing many claims on a “no win no fee “arrangement.
So let’s look at some of the issues.
In the last 40 to 50 years many timeshare developers have moved their products from “fixed week” systems to “Floating”, then from Floating week timeshare to “Points” based clubs. Now (in an attempt to avoid legislation, or to invite yet more profits) some developers have created what TESS describe as another perverted product call “Shared Ownership” or “Fraction ownership”.
The decades have past and the issues surrounding timeshare has never gone away as the industry is an expert at recycling, the term “shared ownership,” which appears to have morphed yet again.
At first glance, the system of “joint ownership” seems quite logical and defiantly appealing. The product, its description and the lure, however, is not as nice as inferred. The concept is to have and to own a property in the sun” yet in many contracts you own nothing and the sun will only be seen if your “Fractional Ownership” is available!
In TESS’s opinion, it’s a great idea that consumers to band together and part own [with others] a holiday property, which can be enjoyed forever. The timeshare minds have got hold of the concept, degenerate it and marketed it as “the sale of dreams”, yet the contract, its obligations and fees (as usual) outstrip the expected or represented benefit. Simply put, you pay significant sums expecting to own something yet don’t as that ownership could be an illusion. The holiday’s property you thought you acquired in some cases is, non-existent. The reason why TESS can make this conclusion is, that upon acquisition of the “Fractional Ownership” product (in some contracts) you immediately give away the acquired right of ownership/occupation to the seller in exchange for becoming a member of a timeshare “Points club” membership.
“Fractional ownership”, I believe, can be significantly different from timeshare, however on many occasions, it does not, yet must be clearly distinguishable. On many occasions, an inference is employed (ownership) yet that inference does not exist.
Many consumers have heard the word “Timeshare” banded about, and many associate the word “Timeshare” with mis-selling. Equally, the Word “Timeshare” is synonymous with “scam” and “fraud”. Therefore, many resorts like to dress timeshare contracts in a different dress applying convoluted, erroneous terms and disguises. The reason why many resorts do this is simple if consumers knew the product was a “Timeshare” they would figuratively speaking, “runs for the hills” at the mere suggestion that the property they were investing into may, in fact, be a “Timeshare.”
In saying this, I do apologise to:-
Numerous companies and resorts who embrace good ethical behaviour.
The parts of the timeshare industry who have laboured long and hard over the decades to improve timeshare’s public image and
The concept creators, who spent many hours trying to deliver what is a very good concept, nevertheless on many occasions have been perverted.
Unfortunately for the ethical resorts and the incoming buyers. Much blight does exist in the minds of many potential purchasers. For this reason, “Fractional Ownership” has everything to lose and nothing to gain by being identified as “shared ownership” or as “timeshare.”
To clarify there are no major distinctions between the two property types (Common and Fractional ownership) put out by the Timeshare industry.
- A number of owners per unit.
Timeshare is “rights to occupy” a property, generally split into weeks. As the year consists of 52 weeks there can only be a maximum of 52 weeks sold. Consumers can acquire weeks and as many weeks as they want. Fractional ownership is the same and can be divided up between a collection of owners.
Most timeshare contracts grant a “right to occupy” whereas a “Fractional ownership” infers you have the same “right to occupy” with the grant of “part ownership” with others. If the contracts give you ownership, then clearly that ownership would be filed at Land Register (to reflect you have an interest in the property). If no “deed” is filed or is filed in favour of a trust company, then you are not registered and do not own anything.
- Ranges of owner vacation use per year.
It is a misconception to believe timeshare owners only purchase one or two weeks of use per year. In short, a consumer can buy as many weeks as they want and the resorts will be happy to sell them. Equally in “Fractional Ownership”, consumers can and do buy as many weeks as they want and again the resorts will be happy to sell them.
- No differences in the atmosphere between fractional ownership and timeshare properties.
There is no difference between the two concepts, the property will receive the same traffic, ware and tare issues and the clientele will be the same as all pay into and expect discounted luxury holidays.
The conversations are the same and there are equal hustles and bustles from transient vacationers arriving and departing.
- No differences in household income of fractional vs. timeshare owners.
The minimum qualifying household income for “Fractional Ownership” is the same as timeshare owners
- No differences in quality level between fractional ownership and timeshare properties.
Most “Fractional properties are not only in the same location, they are products sold in the same resorts and by the same developer.
One would expect that since owners of fractional properties have a larger financial stake in their property they have a better benefit in return. They don’t.
If you acquired a “Fixed” week timeshare and have decided to acquire “Fractional Ownership” you would expect a better benefit, however, you don’t, you simply move from one contract to another. Both contracts experience difficulties in the resale market, you don’t own any inflated value and in contrast to “Fixed weeks” (a grantee to occupation), the “Fractional Ownership” which trans mutates into “Points” do not guarantee any occupational right. As the use expected is termed “if available”.
If you have acquired a “Floating” week timeshare and have decided to acquire “Fractional Ownership” you would again expect a better benefit, however, you don’t. You simply move from one contract to another Both contracts experience difficulties in the resale market, you don’t own any inflated value and like “Floating” weeks the “Fractional Ownership” which trans mutates into “Points” do not guarantee any occupational right. As the use expected is termed with “if available”.
If you have acquired a “Points based Timeshare club membership” and have decided to acquire “Fractional Ownership” you would again expect a better benefit, however, you don’t. You simply move from one “Points” contract to another, both contracts experience difficulties in the resale market, you don’t own any inflated value and like the “Points” Fractional Ownership” trans-mutates into a “Points” club membership its does not guarantee any occupational right. As the use expected is termed “if available”.
If you have acquired a “Fractional Ownership” contract that contract will clearly infer you own something. If again you acquired the timeshare in Spain, you are entitled to a) dissolve the supporting loan b) claim the amount you paid from the resort c) claim exemplary damages in the amount of 100% of the amount paid (under Spanish statutory implied terms) and d) claim all the maintenance fees you have paid to the resort in support of the unlawful product.
Therefore, you need cogent and consistent advice which we at TESS will give you “free of charge”.
If you want the claim to be progressed on a “no win no fee” arrangement, TESS has access to litigation funding and that funding will ensure the service is fully delivered, whereby you will not be at risk of paying any legal costs from your homeland or international lawyers.
Posted on: 30th November 2016