Cancelling a timeshare

Did you sign a timeshare or similar contract? Don't worry: you have a cooling-off period.

How long is this cooling-off period?

You have fourteen calendar days to change your mind and cancel the contract. You can do this free-of-charge and without giving a reason. This period starts from the date the contract was signed. Does your contract not include a standard withdrawal form? Then the cooling-off period will be extended by one year!

How can you reconsider?

You can use the standard withdrawal form! This document is a mandatory part of your contract. You fill it in, sign it and return it by registered mail to the counterparty within fourteen days. 

Does your contract not include a standard withdrawal form? Then you can send a registered letter to the seller, in which you request the cancellation. This is also free-of-charge, and there is no need to give a reason. And, in this case, your cooling-off period is 1 year, instead of fourteen days!

What happens to the payment during the cooling-off period?

The timeshare seller may not demand payment during the cooling-off period of fourteen days. This means: no deposit, and no expenses, commissions or other payments. This is even stricter in the case of reselling: you are not required to pay anything as long as the resale has not taken place!

But what happens if the timeshare seller asks for a payment before the withdrawal period has expired? Then you can demand the full refund of the sum that was already paid. State this clearly in your registered letter to the timeshare seller, and include your international bank details (BIC and IBAN code). 

Good to know: Did you pay by credit card? Then you can dispute the amount with the issuer of your credit card.

How can you cancel the contract after the cooling-off period?

A timeshare contract can often bind you for many years, sometimes even for life.

Do you have a contract for an indefinite period, or for an unreasonably long period, and want to discontinue it? In this case, you should first ask your timeshare company whether you can return the right of use. A discontinuation agreement will be prepared. 

Does the company refuse? The rules are different in every country. Some examples:

Spain:

  1. Send a registered letter to the timeshare company stating your wish to terminate the contract.
  2. Stop paying the annual fee. 

France:

  1. Go to court to obtain the termination of your contract. 

Please note: For similar holiday formats, such as a holiday club or a points system (not the traditional timeshare contract), you may cancel your agreement free of charge from the second year. So, if the annual payment request arrives in your letterbox, send your cancellation letter to the seller within fourteen days.