Spain implements timeshare directive

4/5/2012

Through a new law, Spain implemented the Directive 2008/122/EC on the protection of consumers in certain aspects of contracts relating to timeshare, long-term holiday products, resale and exchange. The act came into force on 18 March 2012.

The law represents a clear tightening and extension of protection for consumers in contracts for timeshare; a contract that runs for more than one year and under which a consumer has the right to use one or more overnight accommodation for more than one period (timeshare).

A major novelty is that the new law also covers contracts for long-term holiday product; a contract that runs for more than a year under essentially, gives the consumer the right to obtain discounts or other benefits, accommodation, either in isolation or together with travel or other services.

Important news of the law:

  • The statutory right of withdrawal of 14 days, which gives the buyer a right to withdraw from the contract during this time without leaving any particular reason, is now implemented.
  • Ban on advance payment. According to the law it is forbidden to charge before the withdrawal period of 14 days expires. The prohibition also applies to payments for products or services at the side of the main product which concluded at the same time as the main product. Contracts must be provided the buyer at the buyer's language, provided it is an official language of the EU.
  • A timeshare or a long-term holiday product shall not be marketed or sold as an investment. The new legislation covers contracts valid for more than a year, the old law only applied to contracts valid for three years or more.

However, you should be aware that the directive or the law does not regulate the aggressive marketing practices that have marked some parts of the industry.

The new law is called Real Decreto-Ley 8/2012, de 16 de marzo, the contratos the aprovechamiento por turno de bienes de uso turístico, the adquisición de productos Vacacionales the Larga Duración, the Reventa y de Intercambio.