Buying into a timeshare gives you the right to use a property for an allocated period of time each year. Holiday clubs are a variation of timeshare agreements. At European Union level, the legal regulation of timeshares was first enshrined in the European Directive 94/47/EC followed by Directive 2008/122/EC, transposed into Irish law by S.I. No. 73 of 2011. The following rules below govern timeshares and holiday club contracts in Europe.
The trader is prohibited from demanding or accepting an advance payment from the consumer before the expiration of the withdrawal period. This prohibition also extends to the provision of guarantees, reservation of money on accounts, explicit acknowledgement of debt and payment of any other consideration to the trader or to any third party.
The consumer has the right to withdraw from this contract without giving any reason within 14 calendar days from the conclusion of the contract (or, if the contract is provided at a later date, from the day when the consumer receives the contract). The consumer must notify the trader in writing of his or her decision to withdraw.
Detailed information must be provided free of charge and in writing. Consumers should also be allowed sufficient time to give full consideration to the information, which must be provided in an EU language that they are familiar with. Consumers can also request a certified translation of the contract in the official language of the country where the property is located.
The following information should be supplied in all cases:
- Details of the trader
- Description of the product and nature and content of the right(s) acquired
- The exact period in which such right(s) can be exercised, including the start date and, if necessary, its duration.
- The price and other associated charges
- Cancellation rights and prohibition of advance payments
- Details of any code of conduct the trader has signed up to
- Where applicable, the possibility for out-of-court dispute resolution.
- Indication of the language(s) available for future communication (e.g. handling of queries and complaints)
- A summary of the key services and applicable fees (e.g. water, electricity)
- Common facilities and associated charges
Read all about the rules on timeshares and other long-term holiday contracts in the EU here.
For more practical consumer advice on timeshares and long-term contracts, click here.
If you have specific questions about a timeshare contract, please contact our office.