Spanish national television channel “rtve” aired a report this past weekend highlighting the problems faced by timeshare owners in Spain and the growing support given to them by the courts. The report features Nordic Consulting lawyer Miguel Rodríguez Ceballos. You can watch this interview with subtitles in English on this page, and a full transcript is published below.
Rtve reporter: Timeshare claims have increased dramatically recently, especially because of the supreme court ruling against contracts of more than 50 years and against floating week contracts. Miguel Rodriguez is the lawyer from Gran Canaria that achieved this sentence that created a precedent.
Miguel Rodríguez Ceballos: Before December 1998 the system wasn’t regulated in Spain. During 1998 a law was approved that went into force on the 1st January 1999. From this date, according to the interpretation of the Supreme Court, the companies should not have sold contracts for more than 50 years, which is what they continued to do.
Basically, they said that there are two forms of sales that are illegal – sales for more than 50 years and sales that don´t specify to the buyer the number of the apartment and the week. Many of the claims result from an excessive increase in the maintenance fees
Over 10 years the cost has doubled when the consumer price index was only 30%. This is one of the biggest problems that clients always come to me with. The maintenance fees have increased exorbitantly, very different to what was promised to them during the sale process.
Following the sentence and the resulting publicity, the number of claims has increased because, amongst other things, they already know that there is a certain guarantee of success
Rtve reporter: The sentences also oblige the complexes to refund part of the money paid in maintenance fees, but the majority of clients have not been able to receive this money.
The stream of complaints is causing difficulties for the timeshare industry and creating a litigation business opportunity.
Miguel Rodríguez Ceballos: Timeshare has evidently suffered a significant impact with these sentences, and with the many following sentences. The volume of sales is not the same and jobs have been lost.
The same people that once worked in the timeshare industry are now trying to capture clients that have bought timeshare to offer them legal assistance or put them in contact with lawyers to try and nullify their contracts
Rtve reporter: We got in contact with two of the largest timeshare companies in Spain – Anfi and ONA Group, that declined to participate in the program. The Association of Timeshare Businessmen also declined to appear.
Have you purchased a timeshare or related investment product in Spain? Make sure you contact The Nordic Consulting, without charge, to get the expert opinion of our lawyers.