What is a timeshare?
In Europe, the term “timeshare” is a general term for timeshares and long-term holiday products. Timeshare usually refers to a one-week or two-week part-time right to use a particular property, secondary residence at a holiday destination, or a boat, for instance. A timeshare agreement is an agreement concerning these, valid for more than a year.
A timeshare may also be a membership in a club, or it may entitle you to points with which you can obtain the same type of accommodation at another holiday destination. Increasingly often, the object of a timeshare deal is a discount voucher for a cruise, for example, or a DVD that presents a holiday product.
Where can you run into timeshare sellers?
Finnish consumers mainly encounter timeshare sellers at tourist destinations in Spain, especially at the Canary Islands, and in Portugal, Madeira and Greece. The seller is usually a Finnish person who offers a lottery win or a gift followed by a sales event for a holiday product.
What protection does the timeshare directive provide?
Timeshare legislation aims at creating a Europe-wide set of rules for agreements on timeshares, long-term holiday products, their resale and exchange. The regulation guarantees a minimum level of protection throughout Europe. As a result, the buyer has, for example, the right of withdrawal, and the seller is not allowed to claim a prepayment.
Trade in holiday shares and other long-term holiday products is regulated by EU directive 2008/122/EC.