From Perry Mason to Saul Goodman, TV makes lawyers look cool. The reality, however, is that spending your days dissecting and examining every word in an endless mountain of writs, opinions, contracts, and statutes is BORING!
Timeshare owners can be forgiven, then, if the idea of discussing the legal structure of their ownership interest puts them on a one-way train to Snoozeville. Thankfully, we are not here to delineate the finer points of the Rule Against Perpetuities, or otherwise provide legal advice. Instead, we want to give you the broad strokes of the timeshare structure, through the metaphor of “rock, paper, scissors.”
Rock = Deed
The chances are very high (around 90% in the U.S.) that your timeshare is backed by a deed. This is property ownership in its purest form – the so-called “fee simple” – and it goes on and on forever, passing from one generation to the next. It’s the same kind of deed that you own for your house; the only difference is that 50 or so other people also own it, and you all take turns using it. Hence, “timeshare.”
When we talk about deeds, and property law in general, we are concerned with very tangible things – dirt, stone, metal – all the bricks and mortar that go into building your timeshare. And, conceptually, a deed is a very heavy instrument, the transfer of which is not undertaken lightly (for example, a resort can only repossess a deeded interest through the cumbersome process of foreclosure). This type of timeshare ownership appeals to those who seek permanence and security.
Paper = Contract
Another form of timeshare ownership – and very popular, internationally – is the “right-to-use.” This interest is based in contract law, and is pretty much just what it sounds like. Instead of transferring ownership over to you, the resort will grant you permission to use their property, usually for a set number of years. It’s like checking a book out of the library; you get all of the same enjoyment, but you do eventually have to return it.
Compared to the much weightier deed, the right-to-use is a relatively breezy instrument. Everything’s done on paper. As long as both parties agree to the contract, it can be folded in any number of ways (for example, it might be for a term of 5 years, or 50). And, if there is ever an issue of delinquency, a simple termination for breach of contract effectively bypasses years of foreclosure proceedings. This type of timeshare ownership appeals to those who seek convenience and flexibility.
Scissors = Usage
Regardless of whether the underlying interest is based in property or contract law, it still has to be cut up and delivered in manageable pieces. The earliest timeshare “slice” came in one size only: the 7-day week. And, like the school lunches of your childhood, you pretty much had to eat what you were served. But, not everyone liked Taco Tuesday, so floating weeks and exchanges were introduced to give timeshare owners a little bit more control. Next, the points system came along, dicing up your deed or right-to-use in such a way that it could be spent like currency. Want three nights in a two-bedroom during the Fourth of July? That’ll be x points. Ten nights in a studio at Christmas? Sure thing; z points, please.
This evolution traces a natural path of providing more and more freedom to you, the timeshare owner. But, once we’ve ground the deed into powder, or cut the contract into confetti, the next step is not in going any smaller. Instead, it is about making sure that none of those tiny pieces get swept up into the trash, fall through the cracks, or get blown away in the wind. A centralized, peer-to-peer marketplace (like, say… weholi, for example), where no vacation time goes unshared, ensures that whether you pick rock, paper, or scissors, all timeshare owners come out on top.
weholi is a global community that empowers vacation owners to effectively rent or sell unused vacation time directly to the public and other owners. Owners set the price, pay no commissions, and avoid costly exchange services.
To help you effectively monetize unused vacation time and expand your own vacation options, your membership also includes professional marketing services, live customer service, and valuable travel discounts.
For questions or help listing your timeshare for rent, contact a weholi concierge agent today (toll-free 800-592-1745), visit the weholi help center, or simply register to join the community today.