Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you know about the deep, hidden costs of vacation ownership. Timeshare resales are difficult and usually don’t go well for timeshare owners. To many looking for relief from the constant financial pressure of mortgage payments, maintenance fees, and repairs, renting can look like a good solution.
“After all,” you may be thinking, “if I can rent my timeshare to someone else, that could offset my costs. Heck, I may be able to use that money to pay all the maintenance fees and special assessments for an entire year!”
You can’t be blamed for thinking this way — many salespeople use this reasoning as a tactic to hook you in their overlong sales presentations. But the truth is, if resorts even allow timeshare rentals at all, they will hit you with so many upfront fees and conditions that it is difficult, if not impossible, for you to make any money renting your timeshare unit. After all, timeshare companies rent this inventory as well, so they have a vested interest in eliminating or hamstringing their competition from owners.
This article will take a look at the realities of renting timeshares. First, we’ll ask the important question of whether your resort will even let you list your timeshare for a rental. Second, we’ll look at the various fees and other ways the timeshare industry has come up with to discourage rentals, as well as the reasons that renting isn’t that appealing for vacationers.
Finally, we’ll present another option: legal, ethical timeshare exit through Centerstone Group, a trusted company that has helped many people just like you who are looking to stop the financial bleeding caused by their timeshares.
If you’ve spent any time on the internet searching for how to rent timeshares, you’ve probably seen lots of different companies claiming to help this happen. Timeshare Users Group (TUG), Koala, and other websites are filled with colorful pictures and claims that you can list your timeshare with them for a fee. (We’ll talk about those in a moment.)
They promise timeshare properties from well-known companies like Marriott and Disney. They commonly portray the process as a “win-win,” with both vacationers and timeshare owners getting value from the deal. Unfortunately, it’s often a win for everyone but timeshare owners.
But all of that assumes that your resort will even let you rent your timeshare in the first place. As some owners have learned, companies like Wyndham/RCI often prevent owners from being paid for giving their timeshare use to someone else (apart from recovering limited exchange fees).
Even if your resort does allow you to rent your timeshare, you probably aren’t free to do so without rules. Take a look at the public offering or governing documents for your timeshare, and you’ll almost certainly find that the timeshare company has already placed strict rules about who can use your unit and how you can advertise it.
And if you break the rules of your contract, rest assured there will be consequences. Some vacation renters have reported being kicked out of timeshare units by the resort. If that happens, expect to be paying a refund or facing a lawsuit by the renter, the resort, the rental company, or some combination of these.
The bottom line is this: You must know what your timeshare contract says about rentals. If you don’t, you’re asking for trouble and even more expense.
But let’s be a bit more optimistic and assume that your resort does allow you to rent your timeshare. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to be happy with the result. For starters, many timeshare contracts require you to have a guest certificate for people using your timeshare that you don’t live with.
(Note that you will still likely need guest certificates even for family members who don’t live with you. For example, if you give a timeshare week to your adult son and his family, he’ll need a certificate before check-in.)
If you don’t have guest certificates as part of your membership, you’re going to be paying the resort for them. Without guest certificates, your renters could be kicked out of the unit, and you could be in trouble with both the resort and your renters.
Chances are your timeshare resort will also charge you a substantial fee for allowing the rental, so get ready to pay that too. And if you are using an agency to assist you with a rental, they will also take a commission of 7% or more for the listing and rental agreement. (You could use a site like eBay for your rental as well, though it might be tougher to do correctly.)
Once you have added up all of these costs, you might find that it’s tough to set a rental price for your timeshare that will actually make money. Sure, if you have a timeshare in Hawaii or Orlando, you might be able to do it. (If you can get a premium week to secure a renter, that is — a task that is often difficult in and of itself.) But even then, look at the hotel room rates in the area where your timeshare is.
Most likely, you can’t offer a competitive price and still make money by renting your timeshare. It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong. This is just the reality of timeshares. Despite what you’ve been told, they are not good investments.
You may be reading this and feeling depressed. You thought rentals were the path to profiting from timeshare ownership, but it’s just another dead end.
Your case isn’t hopeless though. Many, many other people have found themselves in your situation and managed to get themselves out. You just need to change your thinking. Instead of working within the terms of an unfair timeshare contract, give some thought to actually getting out of that contract.
Centerstone Group is a company made up of people who have worked in the timeshare industry and know all its tricks. Their sole job is to help people like you exit your timeshare contract with as little trouble as possible.
If you’re a new timeshare owner and you’re beginning to see that the timeshare presentation was filled with falsehoods, we can help you cancel that contract. If you have owned for a while and the costs are eating into your finances, we can help with our proprietary pressure campaigns against timeshare developers or with a transfer of the unit to a receiver.
Sometimes, our clients have more serious legal problems. We can help there, too. We constantly work with talented timeshare lawyers and law firms. We can put you in touch and even get you better rates than you might get otherwise, all while we guide you through the process.
But don’t take our word for it. Centerstone Group is an A-rated company accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Our customer ratings and reviews will tell you what you need to know. We have a reputation for getting timeshare owners out of bad situations. Let’s see if we can help you.
You might feel like putting your timeshare on the rental market is giving you more financial control. But rest assured that the timeshare company has already thought of that and will insist that you pay them for the privilege — so much that you will see little or no benefit from the rental, assuming the resort even allows it.
You’re not stuck with timeshare ownership though. We can help. Contact Centerstone Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.