Maintenance Fee Headaches (Part 2)

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Aaronson Law Group - Timeshare Recession and Cancellation

If accelerating annual maintenance fees pose headaches for timeshare owners, special assessments can well produce migraines! Yes, the right to levy special fees is outlined in that contract you signed, and those additional fees can be very expensive.

Special assessments cover unexpected (non-reserved) expenses and are levied by the association board of directors. Assessments can be levied “at the board’s discretion” for the following:

  • New property improvements – additional landscaping, pools, lobby or clubhouse renovation, fitness centers and more.
  • Change of ownership costs – in the case of sales or mergers. This happens when timeshares merge with other larger resorts. The legal fees and other expenses can be passed on to timeshare owners, particularly when amenities or services are added.
  • Natural disasters – damages to facilities from floods and wildfires to tropical storms, hurricanes and earthquakes.

You need only look to the devastating damages from natural disasters in 2017 to imagine the losses and owner assessment fees still in the pipeline. In the month of September, Florida, Texas, California, the Caribbean and Mexico experienced catastrophic losses from category 5 hurricanes, earthquakes and deadly wildfires. Damages spread across expensive structures and equipment from sea walls and elevators to swimming pools and roofing systems.

Resorts not only have undergone costly repairs and business interruptions, they (which includes you, the timeshare owner) face multiple insurance issues.  Resorts expect increased premiums and deductibles, diminished coverage, and the strong potential for the end of the flood subsidy insurance program. Although you will never own the resort and have little say in decisions about insurance or repairs, you share a large part of financial responsibility for a property that is not an asset for you.

Disney Vacation Club is one of the most transparent of all timeshare companies in the marketplace and recently shared impacts of the storms on their 2018 dues.  For properties in Hilton Head, Vero Beach and Walt Disney World resorts; storm costs ranged from $100,000 to $750,000 with owner fees impacted from $.11 to $.62 per point. On the other end of the spectrum, a timeshare resort in Hawaii levied nearly a $6,000 assessment per owner for repair of massive water intrusion damages.

As a timeshare owner, save yourself angst and headaches by thoroughly reviewing maintenance fees and special assessments. Don’t wait until catastrophic losses or unwieldy maintenance increases to understand the scope of your responsibilities.

YOUR LEGAL PROBLEMS ARE NOT INSURMOUNTABLE!

Despite special assessments 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.