If you enter into a timeshare contract and then have buyer’s remorse, you may be able to cancel the contract if you act quickly. Because time is of the essence when rescinding a timeshare purchase, make sure you follow the correct procedures when you cancel the contract.
(To learn more about buying or canceling a timeshare contract, visit our Buying or Selling a Timeshare topic page.)
Why Cancel Your Timeshare Contract?
When you purchase a timeshare, you are purchasing an interest in a piece of real estate, most often a resort condominium.
Timeshare sellers are notorious for putting the hard sell on potential buyers. It’s not unheard of for a vacationer to attend a sales presentation solely to get a free bottle of wine or round of golf, and then walk out as a timeshare owner. Others sign timeshare contracts only to realize later that the deal is not as good as it originally seemed. For example, many timeshare buyers are unaware of their obligation to pay taxes, fees, and assessments. When adding up the total financial cost, many people change their minds.
How to Cancel Your Timeshare Contract
Because of the nature of timeshare selling, most states have enacted laws that allow timeshare buyers to cancel contracts if they act quickly. This means that if you’ve entered into a timeshare contract and are having second thoughts, you can cancel the contract.
Act Within the Cancellation Period
Your timeshare contract should clearly state the number of days you have to rescind (cancel) the contract. If it doesn’t, or if you think the contract is wrong, check your state’s law on timeshare contracts (to learn how to find your state's law, visit Nolo’s Legal Research Center) or contact your state consumer protection office.
Cancel in Writing
Usually, you must cancel the contract in writing. Even if a written letter or document is not required, it’s highly recommended. Include the following information in your cancellation letter:
- your name as it appears on the contract
- your address, phone number, and email address
- the name of the timeshare company or association
- a description of the timeshare
- the date you purchased the timeshare, and
- a statement that you are rescinding the contract (for example, “I am contacting you within the rescission period in order to cancel this timeshare contract).
In most cases, you don’t have to list a reason for canceling the timeshare contract.
Delivery of the Cancellation Letter
Your contract should specify the manner in which you must deliver the cancellation letter. Sometimes you can hand-deliver the cancellation notice and other times you must deliver the letter by registered or certified mail.
Be sure to:
- follow the instructions exactly, and
- deliver the letter within the cancellation time period.
If you don’t include the correct information or deliver the letter in the manner specified in the contract, your cancellation may not be valid.
How to Cancel After the Cancellation Period Has Expired
In certain states and in limited circumstances, you might be able to cancel your timeshare contract after the rescission period has passed. Usually, however, this will entail bringing a lawsuit against the timeshare company. Contact a real estate attorney for advice.