Timeshares allow families and individuals to split ownership of their property, usually a vacation home. These can appear enticing at face value, but almost always come attached with strings and hidden red flags. Fractional ownership models can be tempting too. You are allowed the use of a second home for a certain period every year.
Whether you enter a timeshare agreement or fractional ownership, these come with their own restraints in the form of maintenance fees, falling value, and lack of true home ownership.
Common Legal Issues Surrounding Timeshare and Fractional Ownership
Litigation issues involve a combination of contract, property, timeshare, and business laws (for commercial properties.) These are a few common timeshare and fractional ownership legal issues in connection with a property:
- Transfer of property rights: Legal issues can crop up where the transfer of property rights through gifting, giving away, giving up, or donating is concerned. The owner may seek to transfer rights to another person.
- Fraud schemes: There are always fraud schemes and scams that may impact your ownership rights. You should speak with a real estate attorney as soon as possible if you find something suspicious in the contract or at the property.
- Owner disputes: The most common legal issues arise from disputes among timeshare owners. For instance, the parties may accidentally schedule their trip for the same time period which leads to a falling out and a decision to dissolve the timeshare agreement. Issues may also involve failure to pay the amount of timeshare or fractional ownership.
- Foreclosure: Financial issues or default in payment can lead to a foreclosure of the timeshare property.
- Conflicts: Conflicts may arise because of local or state laws. This usually involves properties located outside the US. Stemming from this, owners may also need the help of an experienced attorney if there are conflicts related to state laws.
- Unforeseen circumstances: Owners may not be able to use the timeshare property because of an unforeseen circumstance, such as the destruction of property or inability to pay financial dues.
There are several other issues that can necessitate a knowledgeable attorney. Parties considering timeshare or fractional ownership should consult with a real estate attorney before signing the contract.
There are certain legal issues that may attract criminal consequences. For instance, a timeshare owner that knows their guests are indulging in criminal activities on the premises and does nothing to stop them can be charged with a criminal offense and penalized.
Resolving Legal Issues Related to Timeshare and Fractional Ownership
Most legal issues involving timeshare properties or fractional ownership can be resolved by reviewing the most recent contract between different parties. If the issue cannot be resolved through this, you may need to file a claim in court. Lawsuits are helpful for obtaining monetary damages for the party that prevails in the claim.
You should consult with an experienced timeshare property attorney to prove your claim. Your attorney will gather the necessary evidence for strengthening and proving your claim to the property. Without solid legal representation, you increase the likelihood of having your case dismissed without obtaining any monetary damages.
The court may award other remedies besides monetary damages, such as an injunction. These are also known as equitable remedies. Pertaining to this, legal remedies are usually in the form of monetary damages. A timeshare owner that hires a maintenance business to take care of their property when not around can sue the business for not following the terms listed within the employment contract.
Depending on the unique circumstances of the claim, a judge may order the cancellation or amendment of the employment contract to avoid a lengthy court battle.
Hiring an Attorney to Assist with Your Legal Matters
Timeshare and fractional ownership are ideally suited for people that want a separate vacation home without investing a lot. Unfortunately, these properties come with their own sets of legal complexities that require the experience of a capable attorney. Unfortunately, legal issues only increase where timeshare properties and fractional ownership are concerned.
If you are involved in a legal dispute, you may want to consult with a qualified real estate attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will provide you with solid legal advice regarding the local and state laws affecting your property and specific complications. They will also help understand your needs and devise a strategy to efficiently resolve the legal dispute without compromising too much.
A reputable real estate attorney will be able to help whether you want to file a lawsuit against another co-owner or you are being sued. They will help you file the claim and represent you in court if necessary. Your attorney can also negotiate on your behalf during a settlement conference if you decide not to go to trial.
Discuss a Winning Legal Strategy with our Real Estate Attorneys Today
The experienced real estate attorneys at Peterson, Martin & Reynolds LLP have decades of experience helping clients. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of timeshare law, including the various pitfalls and legal complexities. To schedule your consultation, call us at (415) 399-2900 or fill out this online contact form.