Exit your Timeshare
Life rarely stays the same and there can be any number of reasons why you may wish to sell or relinquish your timeshare in the future:
- Lifestyle changes mean a timeshare no longer suits a need
- A change in financial circumstances means that travel & other associated usage costs, including maintenance fees, are no longer affordable
- Health issues mean that travel abroad is not practicable
There are several options that may be open to you in relinquishing your timeshare, as set out below:
RDO Member Exit Agreements
If you own timeshare at a resort that is a member of RDO (and you fulfil certain criteria*) you are entitled to simply hand your timeshare back to the resort. You can find a list of RDO members on the RDO website.
*The criteria requirements for this are;
In the event of the death of a joint owner, the surviving owner can surrender their timeshare if they wish and, additionally, the beneficiaries of the will are not obliged to take on the timeshare if they do not wish to do so.
A timeshare owner who has been declared bankrupt may hand back the timeshare without charge.
If a sole owner or either of the joint owners is suffering from a long-term illness that prevents them from travelling to their home resort/using their timeshare product for the foreseeable future and can provide proof of this by way of a recognised medical certificate/doctor’s letter, the timeshare may be surrendered without any notice period, subject to the maintenance fees being fully up-to-date.
In all other cases, an owner may surrender their timeshare interest at any time, subject to the agreement of the RDO member. In such cases any surrender fee shall not exceed a sum equivalent to 3 years current maintenance fees. In cases where exit options, which include annual use rights, are offered, the exit period shall not exceed 5 years.
Non-RDO Member Exit Agreements
Some non-RDO-member resorts may have an Exit Strategy for their owners. If they do then this will be on a resort-by-resort basis. Some resorts are currently changing their business model and are actively encouraging their owners to give their timeshare back so they gain total control of that unit and can do something else with it.
Some resorts have resale programmes and may help you sell. It is important to note that the resort has no obligation to buy your timeshare back from you, just like a car dealer has no obligation to buy a car back from you when you decide to get rid of it. Equally important is to understand you will likely need to be up-to-date with your maintenance fees before any exit strategy will be accepted.
Sell your timeshare
Just like owning a car, or a whole property, you are entitled to sell your timeshare. The value of your product will be dependent upon market conditions at that time including how many other owners are also looking to sell.
You will likely get back less than you originally paid for your timeshare and the only buyer in the market may be the resort at which your timeshare is located. The resort owners sometimes have a waiting list if there are many other owners wanting to sell-back their week/points.
If you choose to use an independent resale company or broker, make sure they are an RDO member and so subject to their code of conduct. Resale brokers act as an intermediary between sellers and buyers and you can read more about them in our Buying timeshare section via this link.
You can also read directly what the 3 RDO member resale companies say about selling your timeshare via the links below:
Engage the services of a lawyer
There are actually very few circumstances that a lawyers services would need to be sought. We would encourage you to explore all of the options above in the first instance, if only to save you time and money!
With the exception of some legacy products that were sold in the 1970’s and 80’s, most issues can be resolved directly with the resort owner/developer and engaging a lawyer can be a costly exercise. The main reason for contacting a lawyer is if you believe you have been fraudulently sold an illegal product or service.
You can also contact the Timeshare Taskforce who are a free, trading standards approved service for consumers, committed to assisting with refunds and relinquishments.
Did you know?
A note of caution here as this is where some of the scams associated with the industry originate. You should ensure you are only dealing with a reputable resale organisation to assist you. There are some dishonest companies operating illegally and many people are drawn in by their promises of big profits for relatively small upfront fees. Read our BUYER BEWARE section for more information.
Here are our five tip tips when exiting your Timeshare
Check to see if your resort owner is a member of RDO – search the member directory here.
Be patient! If you are keen to receive some money back via selling your timeshare you may need to be prepared to wait.
Don’t expect to get back what you paid for it initially – it is likely to be worth much less.
Avoid scammers by only dealing with the resort owners or a reputable resale organisation – if you have concerns, check the company in question with the Timeshare Taskforce – a UK Trading Standards approved organisation.
Visit Citizens Advice’s pages on selling your timeshare for more information.