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Consumers and Time Share Products

PRACTICE AREA GROUP: Retail and Leisure
DATE: 04.04.2011

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation has published the European Union (Protection of Consumers in Respect of Timeshare, Long-Term Holiday Product, Resale and Exchange Contracts) Regulations 2011.  The Regulations are effective from 23 February 2011 and revoke existing Regulations in respect of timeshare properties.

The Regulations are to give effect to Directive 2008/122/EC on the Protection of Consumers in Respect of Certain Aspects of Timeshare, Long-Term Holiday Product, Resale and Exchange Contracts.

The Regulations set out the information that have to be provided by the trader to the consumer in any relevant contractual documents. They also set out arrangements for communication of that information so the consumer can have all the information necessary to make a decision.

The Regulations set out the specific information to be given in respect of timeshare properties including the right or otherwise of resale or exchange for another property.

The Regulations set out the information required for particular types of contract.  The contract must be in writing on paper or other durable medium and cannot be altered unless the parties expressly agree to the changes or the changes result from unforeseen circumstances beyond the traders control.  A copy of the contract has to be given to the consumer.  The Regulations also deal with the right of withdrawal from the contract, a ban on advance payments prior to the signing of the contract and the language applicable to contracts.

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