SPANISH COURT CLAIMS
On March 16th, 2015, a ruling set by the Spanish Supreme Court came into effect following the European Directive (implemented in Spain by Real Decreto – ley 8/2012). These regulations actually regulate timeshare, long-term holiday products, resale and exchange products and have set a precedent that has brought about big changes to the timeshare industry.
The Supreme Court ruled that all contracts signed after 5th January 1999 are not allowed to be held in perpetuity. They ruled that a contract can last no longer than 50 years. This has subsequently had a huge impact on many timeshare owners who signed their contract after 5th January 1999 and has opened up more possibilities to these owners in their mission to escape their contract.
Another ruling is that resorts are obliged to give clients a 14 day ‘cooling off period’ that is designed to give consumers adequate time to consider the purchase. It is illegal to accept any monies or have the client sign for any finance agreement during this period.
Also, they ruled that any timeshare sold since the beginning of 1999 must state the details of the apartment / unit / week(s) bought, together with the time of arrival and departure. Failure to comply with these rulings can end up with the contract being deemed Null and Void and buyers are eligible to receive a full refund on all monies spent on the purchase of their timeshare property.
THE MAIN FOCUS POINTS OF THE RULING ARE:
- That there is a 14 day cooling off period
- That clients must be informed of this cooling off period before signing any contract
- No money can be accepted at signing of the contract or within the 14 day cooling off period
- All contracts must be put in writing
- Before signing any contract, certain points of information must be made clear to the client, in their own language, so that the client is fully aware of all conditions. If this is not done, the contract is deemed null and void
- If a contract is cancelled by the client, for example during the cooling off period, then all other related finance agreement contracts would also be cancelled
- That a contract can run for no longer than 50 years