As a timeshare owner you are obviously aware of your contractual liability to pay annual maintenance fees. It has always surprised us that most resorts send out the annual bill just before Christmas. We are sure that you would agree that no bill just before the expensive festive season is welcome, let alone the maintenance fee invoice.
Along with the odd “damn” and “blast”, upon receiving this unwelcomed delivery, no doubt it is followed by a fair bit of “effing” and “blinding” when you discover that the fee has gone up once again. It is more likely that hell will freeze over before that dreaded bill ever goes down. In most cases the rise will not be above standard 5%, but even at that rate the effect in the medium to long term can make a serious dent in your finances.
By way of an example, if your 2020 maintenance bill was say £900 and you belong to RCI and as stated above a modest annual rate of increase is 5%. By year 5 in your contract the maintenance will have risen to £1,249, by year 10 to £1,594 and by year 20 a staggering £2,598! Another sobering thought is that by year 20 the total cost of the annual maintenance fees paid will equate to £33,990.15.
Taking into account your original purchasing costs and we are looking at a very hefty sum of money for something that affords you no form of investment and other than holiday memories, will provide you with absolutely no return once your contractual term ends.
It may be the case that your annual maintenance charges differ from our example, with this in mind we have created a “Maintenance Fee Calculator” so you can work out the figures that directly relate to your own personal circumstance. The calculator will show you the amount you will be expected to pay each year over a 20 year period. It will also show the cumulative effect. We hope the results don’t shock you too much! The calculator may be accessed by following this link:
Once you have established the sheer extent of your potential future liability and have overcome the shock of this staggering cost, maybe you should take the time to review whether owning a timeshare offers any real value at all. Bear in mind that maintenance charges merely represent the facilitation of self-catering accommodation, no flights, no transfers, no food, no spending money… We are sure that you will agree that it is all starting to look like a very expensive proposition.
Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of owning a timeshare.
- Ever increasing maintenance charges
- Limited exchange power
- No exclusivity – Most resorts are available to book without owning timeshare
- No resale opportunity
- Costly to relinquish ownership
- Constant pressure to upgrade or buy more encumbrance
- A timeshare holiday can work out cheaper if your travel party is made up of the optimal number of people in the unit (for example 6 people in a 2 bedroom unit), and are happy to utilise the benefits of self-catering. You will need to own at a resort that has reasonable maintenance fee charges; happy to go to the resort each year and are lucky enough to have no availability issue when booking. This however only applies to the very small percentage of owners!
- Holiday memories!
Given the current global situation and the uncertain future of the travel industry as a whole, we do expect most timeshare companies to considerably increase maintenance charges in the coming years in an effort to recoup their losses; all the while hiding behind the force majeure clause within their contracts which relinquishes them of any blame in the circumstances such as a worldwide pandemic or government forced closures. All rather convenient and of course as always the timeshare owner suffers the consequences.
In recent months the TCA have seen an increased demand from enquirers seeking assistance with terminating their timeshares and where applicable seeking financial recompense.
If you would like to receive help and guidance in escaping the timeshare trap and where applicable seeking compensation, please feel free to contact us, our team will be more than happy to assist you.
Call us now on 0800 6101 512 or 0203 6704 616, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read our article “Think twice before you sign your rights away” here.
Find the Timeshare Consumer Associations maintenance fee survey here.