Timeshares in Florida once had a bad reputation, with sales and resales littered with con and scam artists. However, now has never been a better time to invest in a timeshare. A number of state laws have made it safe and protect the buyer, allowing them access to a wealth of investment opportunities with the minimum of risk.
If you are thinking of buying a timeshare in Florida then you should know the laws and your rights. Below, we give you 10 crucial things to know about Florida timeshare law.
1. Out-Of-State Timeshares
Be aware that Florida laws apply only in the state of Florida, often to people who live and have bought in the state.
If you buy a timeshare in another state or country, the same laws and protection may not apply. You will require an attorney who knows the law in the jurisdiction, who will submit a letter to the division for out-of-state approval if you have a problem.
2. Public Offering Statement
When purchasing a timeshare, under the law, the seller or developer must provide the buyer with a public offering statement. This document will contain the history of the project and the building.
At the least, it must include the length of the timeshare plan, a description of the timeshare plan, a description of the area of accommodation included in the timeshare, and a description of how expenses and ownership elements are worked out. It may have additional information attached to this about other elements of the building and property.
Any purchaser of a timeshare has a right to a statutory 10-day cooling-off period, in which they can cancel the contract and sale should they wish. These 10 days will start either on the day the contract is signed or on the day the purchaser receives all the necessary documentation from the seller.
Anyone who wished to cancel the sale must notify the seller in writing. The cancellation notice must be delivered by certified, return requested mail. It must go directly to the person designated as the receiver of the notice of cancellation.
4. Cancellation Refunds
Once receive of cancellation, the developer or seller must refund the total amount of payments made for the timeshare. Deductions can apply for any benefits received from the total. This must be refunded within 20 days of the receivership of the notice to rescind the sale.
5. Collection of Advance Fees
Under Florida state law, when listing a timeshare property it is forbidden to allow anyone to collect a fee for listing a timeshare property. This applies to any brokers, salespersons, or broker salespersons.
The reason for this is that some unscrupulous people will simply collect money for listings. These listings may not even exist, or may not even be promoted well. Cutting out this middleman network keep consumers, and those selling or reselling timeshares, much safer.
Should you decide to take out a loan on a timeshare and fail to make your payments, you will face foreclosure.
In this case, you will be likely to face a nonjudicial foreclosure. The lender will not have to go to court to seize your assets.
7. Resale Purchase Agreements
Once you purchase a timeshare, you have ten days to cancel the contract under Florida law. However, anyone purchasing from a resale may have longer.
Get a lawyer to review your contract. You can do this even after it has been signed off. If this contract does not comply with the laws of Florida State timeshares, then the contract can be deemed void for up to one year after the signed date.
This will always be at the request of the purchaser. This covers buyers in the event of any misleading sales tactics or unknown harm to the property. Hiring a good lawyer who is experienced in timeshare law to look at your contract.
8. Resale Protection
Due to a weak market for a timeshare resale, a number of scams appeared to profit from people wanting to sell a timeshare. Scam artists would say that they had buyers waiting for properties, take a middle man fee, and claim that they were just advertising the property.
This would leave sellers out of hundreds of dollars worth of fees. They would also be no closer to having a buyer. As such, Flordia State law intervened to protect sellers of timeshares, promoting healthy sellers who will assist with transactions.
Anyone advertising resale services are not allowed to claim they have a buyer unless they genuinely have one. They must be able to provide the buyer’s name, address, and contact number to verify their existence. If you are approached by a resale service that can not provide this, then it is likely to be a scam and is breaking Florida law.
9. Resale Fees
If any resale advertising activities take place, or fees greater than the value of $75 change hands, the service provider must get a written contract from the timeshare owner. This should set out the agreement in full and expectations of the service.
10. Resale Service Cancellation
People enlisting the service of a resale advertiser have the right to cancel the contract within 10 days of signing. The resale advertiser must then provide a full refund within 20 days, or within five days after they receive funds from the cleared check.
Anyone who violates these laws can incur a fine. This can be up to the value of $15,000 per violation.
Now That You Know Florida Timeshare Law, Purchase a Timeshare!
When purchasing a timeshare, look online for reviews of brokers and dealers in the area. Always go through documentation thoroughly, and have any legal documents checked by a lawyer who is familiar with Florida timeshare law.
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