Ohio timeshare laws are not very extensive, though state law does provide a few protections when it comes to timeshare purchases. For example, you have the right to cancel a timeshare contract, but you’ll need to act quickly. Also, keep in mind that if you don't make your timeshare mortgage or assessments payments, you may lose your timeshare through foreclosure.
If you are contemplating purchasing a timeshare in Ohio, you should take the time to learn about the laws that offer some protection in timeshare transactions. Read on to learn about a few of the important aspects of Ohio’s timeshare law.
In Ohio, you generally have three business days to cancel a timeshare purchase. (If you purchase a timeshare in Ohio and want to cancel, consult with a qualified attorney about your rights.)
To cancel the contract, typically you must send written notice of your intent to cancel to the developer at the address provided in the contract. Check your timeshare purchase contract for specific instructions on how to rescind the contract. (See Nolo’s article on how to cancel a timeshare contract for more information on cancelling a timeshare purchase.)
Timeshare salespeople are known for using hard-sell tactics and misrepresentations to get you to make an impulsive decision about buying a timeshare. Ohio provides some protections to shield timeshare purchasers from deceptive sales practices. For example, timeshare salespersons may not make any false oral or written statements in selling timeshares (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4735.30, § 4735.61).
In addition, if the timeshare is being sold through a telephone solicitation, the seller may not make a false or misleading statement to induce the purchaser to buy the timeshare (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4719.08(G)).
In 2013, the Ohio Attorney General’s office stated that over a period of six months, they received nearly 160 complaints regarding timeshares. Most of the complaints were from timeshare owners who were trying to sell their timeshare through resale companies.
Timeshare owners can often have trouble selling their timeshares since there is virtually no after-market for them. Consequently, scam artists have popped up who falsely tell a timeshare owner that there is a ready and willing buyer waiting in the wings to purchase the timeshare -- but the timeshare owner 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 or the buyer never materializes.
For example, according to the Ohio AG’s website, one Ohio resident paid a company almost $4,000 to sell his timeshare. After over two years, the timeshare remained unsold and the company refused to refund the timeshare owner’s money. (If you are selling a timeshare, learn more about how watch out for timeshare resale scammers in Nolo’s article Timeshare Resale Scams.)
Often, timeshare purchasers take out a loan to finance the transaction. If the deadline to cancel the purchase has expired and you don't make your timeshare mortgage payments, you could lose your timeshare through an Ohio 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?)
To find the laws that pertain to timeshare transactions in Ohio, go to http://codes.ohio.gov./orc to find the Ohio Revised Code. Look in Title 47 (Occupations-Professions), Chapter 4719 and Chapter 4735.