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Purchase of the right to use immovable property on a timeshare basis

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Community law establishes only minimum standards for the right to use immovable properties on a timeshare basis, which explains the absence of full harmonisation in this area. The purchase contract contains only minimal obligations, such as those which the seller must respect in dealings with the consumer.

ACT

Directive 94/47/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 26 October 1994 on the protection of purchasers in respect of certain aspects of contracts relating to the purchase of the right to use immovable properties on a timeshare basis.

SUMMARY

The Directive covers aspects relating to:

  • information on the constituent parts of the contract;
  • the procedures for cancelling and withdrawing from the contract.

Other matters fall within the competence of the Member States.

When someone requests information, the vendor is required to supply a document containing a general description of the property and certain minimum items referred to in the Annex to the Directive (identity and domicile of the parties concerned, number of the building permit, etc.), along with details of how to obtain further information.

Such information forms an integral part of the contract.

The Directive lists the minimum items which must be included in the contract and determines the language in which the contract is to be drawn up. The contract must be drafted in the Community language(s) of the place where the purchaser lives or in the language(s) of the Member State of which they are a national.

For more information on the use of languages for consumer information, please consult the relevant SCADplus sheet.

The purchaser has the right to withdraw; he or she may do so, without giving any reason, within ten days of signing the contract. Only those expenses incurred as a result of the conclusion of and withdrawal from the contract are liable to be defrayed.

The purchaser's right of cancellation may be exercised within three months of signing the contract if the information required by the Directive is not included in the contract. In this event, the purchaser is not required to make any defrayal.

Any agreement covering credit granted to the purchaser by the vendor, or by a third party on the basis of an agreement concluded with the vendor, will be cancelled if the purchaser withdraws from or cancels the initial contract.

Any clauses which may be contrary to the rights of the purchaser and/or the responsibilities of the vendor under this Directive will not be binding on the purchaser.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 94/47/EC [adoption: codecision COD/1992/0419]18.11.199429.04.1997OJ L 280 of 29.10.1994

RELATED ACTS

European Parliament Resolution on the monitoring of Community policy on the protection of purchasers of the right to use immovable properties on a timeshare basis (Directive 94/47/EC) [Official Journal C 271 E of 21.11.2003].

This resolution calls on the Commission to amend the directive on the right to use immovable property on a timeshare basis. Parliament notes that the current minimalist legal approach has given rise to different laws in the various Member States and thus unequal protection for consumers. As a harmonising measure, it proposes that the cooling-off periods for consumers be extended, that this period be 28 calendar days rather than working days and that the right to cancel be clearly stated on the front face of the purchase contract.
It also calls, among other things, for this type of contract to be defined as a consumer contract, so that the general rules of Community law on the protection of consumers apply.

Last updated: 22.12.2006

See also

For more information on the right to use immovable properties on a timeshare basis, see the website of the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General.

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