The Connecticut Time Share Act provides protections to people who are purchasing timeshares in the state. Under the Act, the developer must give you certain disclosures before you buy a timeshare and you have the right to cancel the timeshare contract (for a limited period of time), among other things. However, if you don’t make your timeshare mortgage payments or pay the assessments, the timeshare is subject to foreclosure.
Read on to find out some of the most important parts of Connecticut’s timeshare law.
Timeshare Disclosure Statement
In Connecticut, before a prospective purchaser signs a timeshare agreement, the developer must provide a disclosure statement that includes the following information (among other things):
- the type of timeshare plan offered
- the name and address of the developer
- a description of the duration and operation of the timeshare plan
- a description of the existing or proposed accommodations
- the projected common expense liability (if any)
- the projected assessments (along with a description of the method for calculating and apportioning those assessments)
- any initial fee or special fee due from the purchaser at closing (together with a description of the purpose and method of calculating the fee), and
- a description of the purchaser’s right to cancel the purchase (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103mm).
Cancelling a Timeshare Purchase in Connecticut
In Connecticut, you have five calendar days to cancel a timeshare agreement after:
- the date you sign and receive a copy of the contract, or
- the date you receive the required timeshare disclosure statement, whichever is later (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103pp(a)).
The right of cancellation may not be waived. If the developer puts a waiver in the contract, you may void the contract (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103pp (b)).
How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract in Connecticut
To cancel the contract, you can:
- hand-deliver notice of cancellation to the developer
- mail notice by prepaid United States mail
- fax notice to the developer or to the developer’s agent for service of process, or
- send the notice via overnight common carrier delivery service to the developer or the developer’s agent for service of process (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103pp(c)). (Get more tips on how to cancel a timeshare contract.)
If you cancel, the developer must refund your money no later than:
- 20 business days after the date on which the developer receives your notice of cancellation, or
- on or before the fifth day after the date the developer receives good funds from you, whichever is later (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103pp(d)).
Timeshare Sale and Resale Law
Timeshare salespeople are well known for utilizing hard-sell tactics to get you to make a snap decision about buying a timeshare.
Timeshare resellers can be even more unscrupulous. Owners often find it extremely difficult to sell their timeshares since there is virtually no after-market for them. As a result, scam artists have popped up who falsely tell timeshare owners that there is a ready and willing buyer for the timeshare -- but the timeshare owners must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in upfront fees to process the transaction. After the timeshare owner pays the fees, the scammer often disappears.
Connecticut law provides protections to shield consumers from deceptive sales practices and resale scams.
Real Estate License Required
A timeshare resale broker must be licensed as a real estate broker (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103bbb(a)(1)).
Misrepresentation Is Illegal
Connecticut law prohibits timeshare sellers and resellers from (among other things):
- making false or materially misleading statements about the timeshare transaction
- representing that a prize, gift, or other benefit will be awarded in connection with a promotion (if they have no intention of awarding that prize, gift or benefit), and
- failing to provide a copy of the purchase contract to the purchaser at the time the contract is signed (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103tt).
Consumer Protections Regarding Prizes and Promotions
Timeshare sellers are notorious for getting people to attend sales presentations by offering free gifts or awards. Under Connecticut law, an advertisement that contains a promotion in connection with the offering of a timeshare interest must include:
- a statement to the effect that the promotion is intended to sell timeshares
- the full name of the developer of the timeshare property, and
- the full name and address of any marketing company involved in the promotion of the timeshare property (if applicable) (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103ll(c)).
Promotion rules must be disclosed. If a promotion uses free offers, gift enterprises, drawings, sweepstakes, or discounts, the rules of the promotion must be disclosed and must include:
- the day and the year by which all prizes listed or offered will be awarded, and
- the method by which all prizes are to be awarded (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103ll(d)).
(At least one of each prize featured in a promotion must be awarded by the day and year specified in the promotion (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103ll(e)).
A written disclosure about the prizes is also required. Any promotion offering prizes must disclose in conspicuous type:
- the value of each prize
- the odds of winning each prize, and
- any conditions or restrictions that apply to the receipt of the prize or void the receipt of the prize (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103ll(f)).
The disclosure must be provided to the potential purchaser in writing or electronically:
- at least once before a scheduled sales presentation, and
- in a reasonable period before the scheduled sales presentation to ensure that the recipient receives the disclosures before leaving to attend the sales presentation (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103ll(g)).
If you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a deeded timeshare and fail to make your timeshare mortgage payments or keep up with the assessments, you will likely face foreclosure (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-103yy). (In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” Find out more in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
To find the statutes that govern timeshare transactions in Connecticut, go to the Connecticut General Assembly webpage at www.cga.ct.gov and click on “Statutes” and then “Browse Statutes (Rev 1/1/13)” to find the Table of Contents. Look in Title 42, Chapter 734b.