From the 1990s until a few years ago, it was quite commonplace for holidaymakers (who visited Spain) to be approached and invited to attend sales presentations for Timeshare opportunities. Timeshare in Spain and the contracts you entered into are classed as ‘offers to share use’ in ‘immovable assets or holiday property, i.e. ‘timesharing contracts’.
By means of this kind of contract arrangements, you (the buyer) pay an upfront fee and acquired a right to enjoy a property for a week or number of weeks, each year and on the condition, you pay the annual maintenance fees.
Due to the increase in the number of these contracts being sold – Law 42/1998 was introduced in December 1998. The law reserved rights for the use of properties on a timesharing basis, for tourist uses and tax regulations. The rights conveyed followed a directive by the European Union which came into force in Spain on 6th of January 1999 and focused on preventing abusive selling and protection for consumers who bought timeshares.
Many of these contracts were entered into with a ‘perpetuity terms’ or lifelong commitments and consequently an obligation to pay the annual fees, without the possibility of terminating the contract which many in Spain termed as Draconian clauses.
Law 42/98 established the ‘maximum term’ that these contracts could have, and that term was between 3 and 50 years. This means that should a timeshare contract be signed with a term longer than 50 years, the entire contracts can be declared ‘null and void’ as the seller was being abusive and acting contrary to Law.
The Law also introduced a period of withdrawal from the contract and other rights to terminate the contract in favour of the consumer.
One of the terms that were/is being promoted is ‘a prohibition’ in respect of making advance payments. The Law defined that the taking of any advance payments during the ‘withdrawal period’ was banned and should a payment be taken the consumer (when they bought the timeshare), the contract will be declared ‘null and void’ and a right to claim double back is reserved.
The withdrawal period exists (represented or not) in all timeshare contracts and the withdrawal period is 10 days from the signing of the contract, so during this period, the acquirer can terminate the contract without justification if they so wish.
The right of resolution or termination has a period of ‘three months’ from the date of the contract. The right of resolution only exists when the minimum content that the contract must have, as per article 9 of Law 42/98, is not reflected in the contract, for example:
Date and length of the contract.
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.
This means that as long as the contract does not reflect this information, You, the consumer will have a three-month resolution right during which the contract can be terminated.
In addition to all this, if ‘advance payments’ have been made, both during the withdrawal period and the right of resolution period, you the consumer have the right to ask for the refund of ‘double’ the amount of money paid to the timeshare resort seller. In short, if you paid £10,000 and all the sums were paid in the 1st 3 months you can claim £20,000.00.
If you have a timeshare contract in Spain and want to terminate it so you have the chance of receiving ‘double back’, TESS can assist. TESS will give you advice, in writing and warrant the advice given.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice but is simply intended to give information related to legal issues of compensation in Spain and with respect to Mis-Sold Spanish Timeshare Contracts.
Posted on: 17th October 2019