Most states now regulate time-sharing, either under existing state land sale laws or under laws that were specifically enacted for time-sharing. The regulating authority is usually the Real Estate Commission in the state where the timeshare property is located.
FLORIDA: Under the Florida Vacation Plan and Time-sharing Act, purchasers may cancel Timeshare contracts within 10 calendar days after the date the contract is signed if the seller is notified of the cancellation in writing. Any attempt by the seller to obtain a waiver of the cancellation right is void and of no effect. While closing documents may be executed, the closing cannot actually take place until the 10 day cancellation period has expired.
HAWAII: Hawaii state law requires the purchaser to have a seven-day right of rescission of any time-sharing sales contract. Hawaii law also outlines specific guidelines for developers, acquisition agents, and sales agents of timeshare units, providing that failure to fully disclose certain actions as sales solicitations constitutes unfair and deceptive business practices. The law is also quite severe with respect to seller misrepresentations.
MARYLAND: A time-share purchaser shall have the right to cancel the sales contract until midnight of the tenth calendar day following, the contract date, or the day on which the time-share purchaser received the last of all documents required to be provided as part of the public offering statement, which ever is latest. This right of cancellation cannot be waived by the purchaser or by any other person. Although documents may be signed in advance, closing cannot occur until the purchaser’s cancellation period has expired. Any false representation made by or on behalf of a developer that a purchaser may not exercise the right of cancellation or any attempt to obtain a waiver of the purchaser’s cancellation rights or a closing prior to the expiration of the cancellation period shall be unlawful, and the transaction is voidable at the option of the purchaser for a period of one year after the expiration of the cancellation period.
MASSACHUSETTS: In Massachusetts, timeshares are considered real estate. Notices of assessments and bills for taxes are required to be furnished to and paid by the managing entity or if there is no managing entity, to each timeshare owner. The managing entity is required by law to give notice of such assessment to the timeshare owners.
NEVADA: In Nevada, the purchaser of a timeshare may cancel, by written notice, the contract of sale until midnight of the fifth calendar day following the date of execution of the contract. The contract of sale must include a statement of this right. This right of cancellation may not be waived. Any attempt by the developer to obtain a waiver results in a contract that is voidable by the purchaser. The notice of cancellation may be delivered personally to the developer or sent by certified mail or telegraph to the business address of the developer. The developer shall, within 15 days after receipt of the notice of cancellation, return all payments made by the purchaser.
NEW MEXICO: The contract of sale is voidable by the purchaser within seven days after execution of the contract of sale. The contract shall conspicuously disclose the purchaser’s right to cancel under this subsection and how that right may be exercised. An instrument transferring a timeshare shall not be recorded until seven days after the execution of the contract of sale. Advertisements which include the offer of a prize or other inducement must fully comply with the provisions of the Unfair Practices Act.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: The law requires that buyers’ deposits must be held in escrow until the closing. Some projects must present a public offering statement to each buyer before or at the time of purchase. In addition, under the law buyers usually may cancel their purchase within five days after signing the purchase contract or five days after receiving the public offering statement whichever is later.
OREGON: A seller offering an exchange program to a purchaser in conjunction with a timeshare plan must provide specific written information to the purchaser about the exchange program, including whether participation is voluntary. A purchaser from a developer may cancel, for any reason, any contract, agreement or other evidence of indebtedness associated with the sale of the timeshare within five cal-endar days from the date the purchaser signs the first written offer or contract to purchase. A notice of cancellation given by a purchaser need not take a particular form and is sufficient if it indicates in writing the purchaser’s intent not to be bound by the contract or evidence of indebtedness. Notice of cancellation, if given by mail, shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, and is effective on the date that the notice is deposited with the United States Postal Service, properly addressed and postage prepaid. Upon receipt of a timely notice of cancellation, the developer shall immediately return any payment received from the purchaser. If the payment was made by check, the developer shall not be required to return the payment to the purchaser until the check is finally paid. Upon return of all payments the purchaser shall immediately transfer any rights the purchaser may have acquired in the timeshare to the developer, not subject to any encumbrance created or suffered by the purchaser. No act of a purchaser shall be effective to waive the right of cancellation.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Contracts must inform the purchaser of the right to cancel the contract within four days, not including Sunday if that is the fourth day, from the date of the contract. Additionally, the purchaser may cancel at any time if the accommodations or facilities are no longer available as provided in the contract. Cancellation notice must be sent to the seller by certified mail, return receipt requested.
TEXAS: Under the Texas Timeshare Act, a purchaser may cancel a contract to purchase a timeshare interest before the sixth day after the date the contract is signed. If a purchaser does not receive a copy of the contract at the time the contract is signed, the purchaser may cancel the contract to purchase the timeshare interest before the sixth day after the date the contract is received by the purchaser. A purchaser may not waive the right of cancellation under this section. A contract containing a waiver is voidable by the purchaser.