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‘When the popularity of timeshare began to rise, many owners were sold timeshare contracts that were in “Perpetuity”. A Legal definition of perpetuity is: “forever or something that is perpetual and unending. A perpetuity is also an annuity in which the periodic payments begin on a fixed date and continue indefinitely”.
This means that there was no end date on the timeshare contract and owners were committed to paying maintenance fees for the whole of the duration which was effectively ´forever´. When maintenance fees were low and the idea of having the same location for your holiday each year was a popular trend, the ´perpetuity´ contract was seen as being advantageous, as children could benefit from the inheritance of the timeshare and they would always be guaranteed their unit every year.
Many owners found that they had received valuable use from their timeshare, but they were no longer able to travel due to ill health or age and as holidaying trends changed towards having more choice available and maintenance fees rose to unacceptable levels, many owners decided that they wanted an cancel to their timeshare contract. Some owners have told us that they contacted their resort to try to cancel the contract and have subsequently found out that there was no way out. Not only this but the timeshare and attached liability for maintenance fees will but be passed on to the next of kin in the owner’s will.
Although it may be possible to reject the inheritance of a timeshare, this can have it’s consequences, as it can leave the estate ‘in limbo’ until the timeshare issue is sorted out, namely by either selling it or transferring it into someone else’s name (if you manage to find someone who is willing to accept this). If this cannot be managed, then it may be that the executors would have to retain funds from elsewhere in the estate to cover some of the liabilities such as management charges.
On 15th January 2015, the Spanish Supreme Court ruled in a ground-breaking case that the perpetuity clause contained within an Anfi Vacation Club owner’s contract infringed on the Timeshare Act and ruled that any contract signed after 5th January 1999 must not have a duration of longer than 50 years. All timeshare contracts signed after this date should comply with Spanish timeshare regulation 42/1998 (“The Act”). This opened the doors for many timeshare owners who now have the opportunity to take their timeshare resort to the Spanish Courts to have their timeshare contract legally cancelled, and in many cases, money returned to them.
O-YOO´s collaborating law firms are currently processing claims with the Spanish courts and have wide experience with perpetuity claims. We do not cold call, so if you would like to have your timeshare contract evaluated for a cancellation or a claim in the Spanish courts with one of our specialists, contact O-YOO for free, friendly advice on 0203 885 2719 or just fill out the form below.