Maintenance Fee Headaches (Part 1)

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Aaronson Law Group - Timeshare Recession and Cancellation

Ever-increasing maintenance fees are the source of some of the most common complaints – and headaches – among timeshare owners.  Unfortunately, two aspirins and a careful review of your timeshare contract don’t even begin to make the pain go away.

Generally, timeshare vacation buyers succumb to a high-pressure sales presentation that accents the positive, idyllic vacation possibilities and ignores the negative probabilities.  Among the latter are maintenance fees that rise year after year and are spread among all resort owners. Even if owners don’t use their time or points, they are responsible for payment of maintenance fees. Inasmuch as some contracts are in perpetuity or can last 50 to 99 years, the overall risk and costs can be staggering.

In the midst of imagining worldwide vacation resorts, you probably didn’t think about day-to-day or long-range resort maintenance costs. As with traditional home ownership, maintenance takes into account ongoing upkeep and expenses and setting aside reserves for non-recurring costs – appliances, roof replacement, upgrades and more. Your timeshare fees may include property taxes, outdoor maintenance and landscaping, utility costs, insurance, administration and management. To add to your headache, these expenses and budget decisions are not under your control but are set by the developer/resort owners or homeowners association, which frequently remains under the resort owner’s control.

Many timeshare contracts offer no cap to maintenance fees that can rise dramatically over the life of your timeshare. The fees may be increased at any time and even more than once per year. Some owners have found increased fees coupled with resort exchange costs exceed what they would pay to rent a unit as a non-owner! Though fees vary according to locations and resorts, it is not uncommon for timeshare owners to pay over $1,000 in annual dues plus exchange fees of nearly $200 to reserve time in a preferred resort. Those fees and costs of approximately $1,200 for one year would buy quite a nice vacation week at $170+ per night!

That charming, persuasive salesperson may seem to have your future vacation enjoyment and best interests at heart, but the truth is the commission they earn from the sale far exceeds any concern they have beyond the moment you sign the contract. These critical contract details and obligations are omitted from oral sales presentations but are included in the written contract. If you don’t get around to reading the fine print within the rescission period, you find yourself with a legally-binding instrument that may seem impossible to cancel.

Next, we’ll examine the second part of maintenance fees – the topic of special assessments.  In the wake of 2017 hurricane losses, those amounts take on migraine proportions.

YOUR LEGAL PROBLEMS ARE NOT INSURMOUNTABLE!

Despite maintenance fee increases and other legal hurdles, chances are good that your timeshare developer is exposed legally in ways that are relatively straightforward and provable. You owe it to yourself to hire experienced, competent counsel. At the Aaronson Law Firm, we have over 80 years of combined legal experience. And we are willing to sue, if necessary, in the interest of getting your timeshare cancelled. Contact us today for your free consultation.