Late on Friday 30 September 2016, Canarian Legal Alliance issued a statement on the latest Supreme Court victories. This involved two rulings by the Supreme Court on another aspect of how timeshare is sold. (see the full release below).
This particular ruling confirms what many believed was in fact timeshare, but was being sold as something completely different and outside the scope of the timeshare laws, Fractional. Inside Timeshare ran an article: Fractional: What is it? Back in April.
In this article it was called a “Pig in a Dress”, mainly because sales staff were promoting it as property and an investment, also as a way out of your timeshare contracts. In the article it explained what fractional ownership actually is, genuine fractional is a real estate transaction, usually by a group of people going into partnership to purchase a property outright and sharing the costs. This type of transaction would be done following normal real estate practices, it would also follow the trends of property prices, either up or down, allowing the owners to sell on the open market as normal. The other aspect is that you would know the other owners, you would then be bound with them in a contract covering; use, costs and the rules governing the sale of any given share. In the model sold by the timeshare companies, it is doubtful if you would ever meet with the other owners of your fraction, let alone know them.
In the first case to be ruled on by the Supreme Court, Puerto Calma Holiday Club Finland, had sold a so-called fractional to a client, implying that they were purchasing a share in the property. They even had the contracts signed in the presence of a notary, just to add credibility to the deal. The Supreme Court ruled in this instance this was not a property sale but did in fact come under timeshare regulations, therefore it is timeshare, awarding over £235,542 to the client. Under these laws it is illegal to sell any timeshare product (including fractional) as an investment.
Now remember, the First National Trust Company, who are the trustees of the Club la Costa Fractional Property Owners Club, did state and warn CLC in 2012, that fractional should never be sold as an investment. This clearly shows that even FNTC believed that fractional fell into the scope of timeshare laws. (See link below)
The second ruling has come against another Gran Canarian operator, Palm Oasis, Tasolan SL, in Maspalomas. In this ruling the court rejected the belief that suggesting to timeshare owners they actually own a share in the property is designed to evade the timeshare laws. This then leaves the purchaser without any legal protection. The court in this instance awarded the client over 20,000 euros. They also reaffirmed that contracts over 50 years (perpetuity) are illegal.
This latest news now puts into doubt the legality of other fractional contracts sold by other operators, including Club la Costa and Diamond. Is this the start of a new round of litigation, putting another black mark on the timeshare industry.
The question also needs to be asked, why has the RDO not made any comment of this in the past?
Why have the RDO not warned their members that they may be selling another product illegally?
The simple answer is the RDO is paid by the industry and works only for the industry. After all an RDO member the FNTC did warn about this along time ago. Did the RDO just choose to ignore their advice?
CLA Press Release Friday 30 September 2016
SUPREME COURT VICTORY AGAINST PALM OASIS
Canarian Legal Alliance is proud to be able to announce another ground breaking decision of the Supreme Court in clarifying and declaring illegal the modus operandi of Palm Oasis and resorts using similar schemes.
This company in common with, for example, Puerto Calma in Gran Canaria, in the name of timeshare sold their clients an indivisible share of a property and suggesting that timeshare laws did not therefore apply, leaving their purchasers unprotected.
This sentence clearly rejects the notion that suggesting to timeshare owners that they actually own a fraction of a property evades timeshare laws. Implying that the clients are, in any way, owners of the property is strictly forbidden in law
The justices of the highest ranking court in Spain have no doubt that timeshare law does and must apply and accordingly declared our clients contract null and void on the basis that its term exceeded the 50 year maximum. The clients were awarded over 20,000 euro.
With this ruling the Supreme Court has maintained their consistency in finding “in perpetuity” contracts to be illegal, just as they pronounced 18 months ago as doctrine in favor of another Canarian Legal Alliance client. Since that time we have celebrated numerous victories at all levels of the Spanish legal system and against a whole range of different timeshare resorts. Our law firm is not only the first one, but still the only one to have brought timeshare matters before the Supreme Court for discussion.
Canarian Legal Alliance is the market leader in payouts to unhappy timeshare owners with over 2 million Euros already PAID BACK to our clients. If you would like to receive expert advice on the legality of your timeshare contract do not hesitate to contact us, the law firm who made legal history in Spain.
CLA wishes you all a very nice relaxing weekend
If you need any information in this article or have any question about any timeshare matter, Inside Timeshare will be pleased to help. Contact Inside Timeshare and we will get back to you.