The “District of Columbia Condominium Act” covers timeshare transactions in Washington, D.C., and provides timeshare purchasers with certain rights. For example, if you purchase a timeshare and then want to back out of the deal, you have the right to cancel the contract within a certain period of time. And the timeshare developer must provide you with a public offering statement. However, you still need to be cautious when purchasing a timeshare, and you should understand that if you don't make your timeshare mortgage or assessments payments, you may lose your timeshare through foreclosure.
Read on to learn more about the most significant aspects of timeshare law in the District of Columbia.
Public Offering Statement
A public offering statement contains basic information about the timeshare condominium development. In the District of Columbia, the timeshare developer must provide you with a copy of the public offering statement (D.C. Code § 42-1904.02(b)).
The public offering statement must disclose certain information about the timeshare to you, such as the developer's name and principal address, the extent to which a timeshare owner is liable for the payment of real estate taxes, the projected common expense assessment for each timeshare estate, whether the assessment may vary seasonally, and information about how to cancel the contract (D.C. Code § 42-1904.04).
Your Right to Cancel a Timeshare Contract in the District of Columbia
In Washington, D.C., when a developer sells a timeshare condominium, prospective purchasers have 15 days to cancel the contract after:
- signing the contract, or
- receiving the public offering statement (whichever is later) (D.C. Code § 42-1904.02(b)).
How to Cancel a Timeshare Contract
You can cancel the contract by either:
- hand-delivering the cancellation notice to the seller, or
- mailing the cancellation notice by United States mail, return receipt requested, to the seller (D.C. Code § 42-1904.02(b)). (Get more information about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
If you cancel, the developer cannot charge a penalty and must promptly refund any deposit that you paid to purchase the timeshare (D.C. Code § 42-1904.02(b)).
District of Columbia Timeshare Foreclosures
Timeshare purchasers sometimes take out a loan to finance their purchase of a timeshare. If you don't make your timeshare mortgage payments, you could lose your timeshare through a District of Columbia foreclosure. (Learn more in Nolo’s article Timeshare Foreclosures.)
In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” If you fail to keep up with the assessments, you will also likely face foreclosure. (Find out more in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
Disposing of a District of Columbia Timeshare
If you’re having difficulty making your timeshare payments or just want to be relieved of your timeshare obligation, see Nolo’s article Options to Avoid a Timeshare Foreclosure to learn about different ways to dispose of a timeshare.
District of Columbia Timeshare Laws
To find the District of Columbia Condominium Act, go to http://dc.gov/DC. Then click on “DC Laws” at the bottom of the page and select “DC Official Code.” The statutes covering condominiums (including timehares) can be found in Title 42 (Real Property), Subtitle III (Condominiums), Chapter 19 (Condominiums).