From the end of 1998, sales or ownership of timeshare came under new laws of regulation and administration from the European Parliament and council.
These new laws give effective protection to buyers of timeshares and existing owners. As well as new regulatory laws, the term Timeshare has also been up graded and such properties are now termed Aprovechamiento por turno de bienes inmuebles meaning Use by turn of property the law prohibits the use of the words Multi-property.
Under new laws the minimum number of dwellings in one development to be used as timeshare is set at ten units.
The period of use can never be less than seven days per year and all turns within the same development must be of similar duration. It is prohibited to divide the right of use by a quota, for example, 1/50th part.
This law applies to all divisions for up to three years and a maximum of fifty years; it is binding for both the owners of the property and the promoter or sales organisation. This makes it impossible for any sales agents involved in the initial transaction to avoid completion of all stipulations. Contracts for a timeshare of more than three years must be completed in compliance with the law, if not such contracts are automatically made null and void and any monies paid must be returned to the buyer (who may also be able to claim damages).
All this is a far cry from the often unscrupulous sales techniques of the past and the modern day investor has a far greater level of protection from fraud, although it is still the responsibility of the buyer to never sign anything on the spur of the moment. The timeshare of a property must be based on a registration in the property register.
Registration must have previously obtained all the necessary permits (occupation, tourist activity and habitation certificates) in accordance with the rules existing in each region. In the case of the timeshare being purchased off plan, the promoter must give a guarantee of completion by a bank or insurance company that ensures the repayment of all monies paid, in case the construction is not completed on the date given. The promoter is not released from this guarantee until the property has been entered into the register, with a notarial affidavit to the effect of the building being finished.
The use of a property as a timeshare must be declared in the title deed of the property and this must be performed in front of a public notary and registered in the property register. In this way, the title deed and the property register (duly signed in front of a public notary), has become the best defence for buyers of timeshare and to a great extent has wiped out the potential for fraud, sometimes uncounted by previous buyers of timeshares in Spain.
The owners, promoters or any other person or company selling timeshares must by law provide the buyers with the following information. The names and addresses of the sellers, promoters and all other interested parties. The details of the timeshare as described in the original title deeds, plus the duration of the timeshare. The completion dates (in the case of off plan) a full description of the building where the timeshare has been established and if the works have been completed. The services the client will be offered and the conditions for their use. The name and inscription of the service company in the Mercantile register. Information on rights of withdrawal and unilateral cancellation of the contract, without incurring costs and if the purchase gives the possibility of taking part in a system of exchange of timeshare and how this system works, plus costs involved.
All information must indicate the dates of inscription of the promotion in the property register, ownership and eventual charges or liabilities. If the eventual contract does not contain all the minimum requirements or if any other stipulation in the law has not been complied with or the information document does not correspond with the information in the property register, the buyer has three months to withdraw from the contract (even after signing the document) without being asked to pay any damages or costs. Such a withdrawal must be notified to the seller or sales organisation in a way that guarantees reception, giving proof of the cancellation date. It is most important, that if you wish to withdraw from the contract for any reason, that the notification to do so is delivered to the sales organisation within the given period. It is not unknown for sellers to misplace or simply not receive notification of a withdrawal and to therefore force the buyer into a sale. Avoid any misunderstanding of your intentions by either hand delivering written conformation of withdrawal or better still posting it to be signed for on receipt.
With added protection by law to potential buyers of timeshares, the old fashioned attitudes and suspicions have undergone a slight improvement recently and for some, timeshares are a way of owning a property in Spain without laying out a fortune for the privilege. There are many benefits to spreading the costs of home ownership between other couples and where timeshare may not be to everybodys liking for some it provides the perfect solution between holiday and ownership.