When purchasing a timeshare property, many people don’t realise the impact of timeshare maintenance fees. The fees are simply a part of purchasing a timeshare. Sometimes known as management fees or resort fees, they are mostly charged on an annual basis but can be bi-annual or quarterly, and you are contractually liable to pay them.
Generally, fees go to pay for the upkeep of the property and resort. The fees will be used towards maintenance, insurance, utility costs, furnishing and taxes, among other things. Whether your timeshare slot is in the high or low season, all timeshare owners for that property should be charged the same fee amount.
The Rising Cost of Timeshare Fees
Many people don’t realise when they buy into a timeshare property that these fees tend to rise every year and often rise at an alarming rate! If this wasn’t something, you were made aware of when signing the contract, or you weren’t expecting it to increase by so much, it would probably come as an unwelcome shock. If you weren’t aware of this fact, it might be worth speaking to an expert timeshare solicitor for legal advice on your position.
No End In Sight
Because there is no regulation for the timeshare industry to monitor fee amounts and charges, timeshare resorts can increase the fees to whatever they like. Fees tend to double every ten years. If your timeshare property is on a long term contract, you could eventually be paying a considerable and unplanned amount later down the line.
Even if you have planned this into your annual budget, things can change, demands on your finances can change, which all put a strain on the ability to meet the contractual obligations and may make you consider a timeshare exit. This can become very stressful at a time when you need the very opposite.
Why Do Fees Keep Rising?
Timeshare resorts must ensure the property and facilities remain in good and safe condition year-round. The maintenance fees help them do this, and without them, the properties would fall into disrepair. That, of course, seems fair. Over time, prices rise, salaries rise, and therefore the fees need to rise.
The maintenance fee is similar to a leasehold for a property. The resort used the payment to upkeep the grounds, and if there’s a swimming pool or tennis court, these can be rather expensive to repair. If the resort requires unplanned repairs or replacements, these unexpected costs will likely be passed onto you regardless of whether you use these facilities. You will be liable to pay under the terms of your timeshare contract.
Paying the Timeshare Maintenance Bill
When you receive the invoice or statement for your timeshare maintenance fees, it should have a breakdown of the fees allocated to each cost. If you are not provided with a breakdown, it is wise to request one from your timeshare company. If you experience timeshare problems and they refuse to give a breakdown of costs, it may be wise to seek legal advice. It is prudent to record all correspondence because this can be used as evidence if required.
When Timeshare Maintenance Fees Become a Problem
If the fees have remained high or even increased over time, but the property and resort have fallen into disrepair, or the standard has slipped, it is time to take action. Record the changes, dates, times, locations and take photos. If you enter into a dispute or want to get out of your timeshare, these pieces of evidence can help your case.
If you end up in a situation where you can no longer afford to pay your timeshare maintenance fees, you must speak with a timeshare exit specialist to help you avoid further costs and undue stress. Stopping payments is never the answer because you are contractually obligated to make the payments, and they could add!
The impact of timeshare maintenance fees is not the be taken lightly. Without the correct information and planning, a timeshare purchase can soon go from a beautiful dream to a living nightmare.
Carl James Associates are industry leaders in timeshare consultancy. We use our in house relinquishment contract specialists to carefully negotiate and navigate the complex legal issues involved in timeshare agreements, the team at Carl James Associates helps people exit their contracts.