RDO (Resort Development Organisation) has been aware of the problems faced by some timeshare owners, who bought their timeshare back in the 1980’s and 90’s, the so-called “legacy cases” when timeshare weeks were sold in what was called “perpetuity” and could be up to 80 years in length. RDO has therefore updated its Code of Conduct to provide more options to owners who wish to relinquish (hand back, dispose) of their timeshare.
RDO’s new requirements, recently approved by the Board, go over and above those covered by law and in addition to it now being mandatory for members to have an overall exit programme in place, the following specific new elements have been adopted (although in the case of some members and their clubs such practices have been in place already for a number of years):
- *In the event of the death of a joint owner, the surviving owner can surrender their timeshare if they wish and additionally, the beneficiaries of a will are not obliged to take on the timeshare if they do not wish to do so.
- *A timeshare owner who has been declared bankrupt may hand back the timeshare without charge.
- *If a sole owner or either of the joint owners is suffering from a long-term illness that prevents them from travelling to their resort for the foreseeable future, the timeshare interest may be surrendered.
- In all other cases, an owner may surrender their timeshare interest at any time, subject to the agreement of the RDO member. In such cases any surrender fee shall not exceed a sum equivalent to 3 years current maintenance fees.
“We have been working closely with the timeshare owners’ organisation, TATOC, for a number of months now to find solutions for those owners who have a real need to pass on or hand back their timeshare rather than put it up for resale,” said Paul Gardener Bougaard, RDO’s Chief Executive. “Whilst one of timeshare’s greatest selling points in the past was that it gave owners many years of high quality holidays with the possibility of passing this on to their children, the recession, coupled with a change in buyers’ commitments to long -term ownership, ultimately led us to review and update our Code. We will continue to revisit this regularly to ensure that owners’ concerns are always properly addressed.”
*Maintenance fees must be up to date for the surrender to be accepted and any on-going loan repayments will be the responsibility of the owner.