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Is There Trouble in Paradise?

Over past decades Timeshare selling has developed an unenviable reputation. The industry has certainly attracted its share of rogue traders. Aggressive sales techniques (often starting only metres from airport arrivals), and free trips to mainland Europe with a condition of having to sit through a lengthy, hard-sell presentation, have not engendered confidence in this sector.

More recently some legitimate traders and resort developers have tried to market their product by terming it fractional ownership, a US concept. There is some confusion surrounding the difference between the two. Both are a form of shared ownership in leisure properties or holiday homes. But in its purest form fractional ownership and timeshare properties are very different. Obviously everything depends on the wording of the purchase agreement. Fractional ownership may actually be nothing more than timeshare in real terms.
Timeshare typically involves the purchase of one or two weeks per annum use share, while true fractional ownership involves the purchase of a fraction of real estate.

This difference, for UK purposes, may impact upon the legitimacy of the underlying sale by the trader and the rights of a consumer.

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