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A timeshare contract is used for a collective model of vacation real estate in which several buyers lease or own allotments for the same properties in the U.S. This particular timeshare model is used for many properties in the country. These kinds of units are often offered in condominiums, vacation resorts, apartments, and campgrounds. The contract is responsible for safeguarding the rights of all parties associated with timeshare models.

You can download this sample timeshare contract template for your reference.

Rights and Options in Timeshare Contracts

Timeshare contracts often confer upon the buyer the right to annual use of a vacation property, which is decided for a defined period. For the unversed, it is usually measured in one-week increments. Timeshare contracts always follow one of the following models:

  • Having Fixed Terms: A fixed period decided on the timeshare contract gives a buyer the right to use the property for a specific week or weeks exclusively. The major advantage here is that the timeshare buyer can plan an annual vacation at the same time without any issues. However, it may be very difficult to change the respective dates for the fixed period if any schedule changes for the same buyer.
  • Floating Timeshares: A floating-period timeshare clause also gives the buyer the right to use the vacation property for weeks during preset dates at any time in a year. Yet, the floating date model in a timeshare contract could mean the specific dates that the buyer needs are already booked. This is even though the clause is more flexible than the fixed-period system in the contract.
  • Adding Points: This particular timeshare contract system adopts several points to represent the respective timeshare use. The points may vary across contracts but are always usable for one or more resort properties for the respective buyers. Those people who own points can use the same on several exchanges. This may often be either within a particular company's resorts or with other resorts as well.

Types of Timeshare Contracts

A timeshare contract involves terms regarding the structuring of timeshares as a shared deed or shared lease.

  • Shared-Deeded Ownership Contract: The Shared-deeded ownership gives the buyer a percentage of the physical property which often corresponds to the period bought. For example, a particular resort condo sold in timeshare increments of a week can have 52 total deeds technically. Shared-deeded ownership interest is held in perpetuity and it can also be resold or willed later to other parties.
  • Shared-Lease Contract: Shared-lease timeshare contracts enable the law to give a buyer the use of a specific property for a fixed or floating period each year. This can also continue for a certain number of years. The timeshare developer often retains the deed to the property in this structure. It is unlike the shared-deeded model, where the buyer often gets the deed for a fraction of the same vacation property.
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Tips to Protect a Timeshare Contract

Buyers who want to own a timeshare can consider it to be a great investment in their future vacations. However, they must make sure to protect their investment and ensure that the timeshare contract is secure. The tips to do the same include:

  • Understanding the Terms of the Timeshare Contract: The first step to protect the timeshare contract is to understand the terms associated with the same legal document. This includes understanding the fees associated with the respective timeshare and the duration of the respective ownership. It must further involve the restrictions on how the particular buyer can use their timeshare. They must make sure to read the entire agreement and ask any questions they may have before signing the same.
  • Keeping the Contact Information Up to Date: The buyer must always keep their contact information up to date with the respective timeshare company. This includes the respective individual’s mailing address, phone number, and even email address. Everyone wants to make sure they have the correct information if the timeshare company needs to contact them about their respective agreement.
  • Paying Fees on Time: A buyer must always pay fees on time to safeguard their respective timeshare contract. A buyer may risk losing their timeshare if they fail to pay the fees. That is why an individual makes sure to understand when their fees are due. They can even set up automatic payments or reminders to ensure they do not miss a payment.
  • Being Aware of Scams: There are several scammers out there in the United States who target timeshare owners. These scams may include companies that claim to offer to sell their timeshare for a high price. A few other companies may also help the respective buyer get out of the timeshare contract for a fee. They must be aware of such unsolicited offers they receive. It involves conducting research before working with any timeshare company.
  • Considering Legal Help, if Needed: A buyer must always approach a professional lawyer if they run into any issues with their respective timeshare contract. This could include issues with the terms or disputes with the same timeshare company of the timeshare contract.

Tips When Hiring a Lawyer for Timeshare Contracts

Buyers must always approach a lawyer for legal advice when they consider signing a timeshare contract. The things to keep in mind here include:

  • Looking for a Lawyer with Experience in Timeshare Law: The lawyer who is going to work with the buyer for a timeshare contract must know all the details that must be included in the document. This ensures that nothing is missed when both parties agree to sign the contract later.
  • Asking for References: Ask the particular lawyer for references from previous clients. These people are the ones who have worked with the attorneys on timeshare matters. It will give the buyers a fair idea of whether the same lawyer can be of any use to them.
  • Discussing the Fees Upfront: All buyers must understand the timeshare contract lawyer's fees. This also involves knowing what services they will provide before they begin working on the specific property deal.
  • Being Honest and Transparent: When meeting with the lawyer, the buyer must always be open and honest about their situation and let the lawyer know what they hope to achieve with the timeshare contract.
  • Understanding the Scope of Services: All buyers need to understand what legal services the lawyer will provide eventually. It also involves discussing things that the same buyer will be responsible for handling on their own.

Key Terms for Timeshare Contracts

  • Fractional Ownership: A system that enables the buyer or tenant to use multiple properties for various weeks within a particular year.
  • Deeded Timeshare: As a part of this system, the owner receives a deed for a particular week during which they can sell, rent, or even give away their timeshare.
  • Leasehold Timeshare: This involves all the contracts for a particular timeshare to expire at the same time.
  • Shared Lease Ownership: This involves the buyer not having any part of the property but being allowed to use it for a fixed or floating week annually.
  • Resale: It involves the purchasing of timeshare ownership by a third party from the original property owner.

Final Thoughts on Timeshare Contracts

A timeshare contract is a good option for individuals who want to search for a vacation property without offering the full cost. They do not have to take any responsibility for ownership too if they sign this particular contract. However, every buyer must try to understand the terms and conditions of ownership or usage before entering into a timeshare contract. For this, they can try to approach professional lawyers who have extensive expertise working with timeshare contacts across the United States.

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