During a holiday, have you ever been approached by a timeshare salesman who tried to convince you, in exchange for a meal or drink, to visit a property in which timeshare apartments were available? During this visit, the salesman spared no effort or expense to make you a ‘happy’ timeshare owner.
Timesharing gives you the right to use a property for a specified period of the year.
For many people, timesharing can be a great low-cost way of holidaying. However, prospective buyers are sometimes faced with aggressive sales tactics, a lack of detailed information in the contracts and problems in reselling…
Timesharing – contracts signed in Belgium
The law protects:
- any buyer of a right to a property located in Belgium;
- any buyer of a right to a property located in another Member State of the European Union in the absence of legislation in that State;
- any buyer of a right to a property which is not located in Belgium or in another EU Member State, if the buyer was living in Belgium when he signed the contract:
- if the contract was signed in Belgium.
- if the contract was signed outside Belgium via itinerant trade through a vendor in Belgium, or following an offer of travel or accommodation from a vendor with the aim of encouraging the buyer to sign the contract.
Timesharing – contracts signed abroad (e.g. in Spain, including the Canary Islands, Greece, Crete, Portugal etc.):
The Directorate-General Enforcement and Mediation is only entitled to enforce the relevant Belgian economic regulations (namely the act of 11 April 1999 on timesharing and the act of 6 April 2010 on trade practices and consumer protection) on the Belgian territory.
You can also contact the European Consumer Centre about your individual dispute. This organisation was created to inform citizens about their cross-border purchases and to act as mediator between buyer and seller in the event of dispute.
For criminal disputes:
For offences occurring in another EU Member State (e.g. Spain, Greece, Portugal etc.), cross-border cooperation takes place under European Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 with the counterpart authorities of the Member State concerned, with the aim of stopping such practices.
If it is a fraud case, only judicial authorities can take action. You can submit a complaint to the public prosecutor of your jurisdiction.
It is also possible to file a complaint for civil action directly to your district judge (there is a fee for this procedure). This creates the possibility of judicial cooperation with the police services of the country concerned. It is advisable to contact your prosecution office or legal advice centre to find out about the arrangements. The addresses of all prosecution offices and legal advice centres are listed on the website www.just.fgov.be.
Disputes and complaints
- Time-sharing et clubs de vacances : Evitez les pièges
- Loi du 6 avril 2010 relative aux pratiques du marché et à la protection du consommateur (MB 12.04.2010)
- Loi du 11 avril 1999 relative aux contrats portant sur l'acquisition d'un droit d'utilisation d'immeubles à temps partagé.