Timeshares are basically a shared ownership of property. Timeshares have been sold in a variety of properties; however, they are most popular for shares in condominiums at resorts. By creating a shared ownership, developers are able to reduce costs for each owner.

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So What Do You Own in a Timeshare?

When you own a timeshare, for a specific “time” you have exclusive use to the “share” you own in a property. For example, if your “share” is 4 weeks in July, you have exclusive use of the timeshare property during that time period. The other timeshare owners have exclusive use of the property during the rest of the year.

Who Pays for the Maintenance and Upkeep of the Property?

All owners of the timeshare property share maintenance fees, management fees and costs to upkeep the common areas like pools and lounges. Fees will vary and should be disclosed to you when you buy a unit.

What Types of Ownership Agreements Are Used in Timeshares?

Fixed Unit, Fixed Week, Deeded Agreement

  • The deed indicates that you own a specific timeshare at a specific time each year.

Floating Time Agreement

  • Here, the use time is flexible. Reservations are often on a first-come basis.

Right to Use Plan

  • A lease agreement that has a set termination date. After that date, you no longer have any rights to the property.

What are Resort Timeshares?

Resort timeshares are similar to other timeshares, except they are located in resort areas. Common examples of these are timeshares located in a ski resort, at cabin lodging, or at a resort near a lake.

Such timeshare arrangements may have special requirements and laws associated with them, especially those having to do with pollution and protection of the environment. Contact a lawyer if you have questions or disputes involving a resort timeshare.

Should I Contact a Lawyer?

An experienced real estate lawyer will be able to review all of your timeshare documentation to make sure your rights are protected. Timeshares are regulated by state law, so if there is a dispute over the use of your timeshare, a local attorney will be in the best position to help you.