As discussed in a prior post, the UK's new Timeshare, Holiday Products, Resale and Exchange Contracts Regulations 2010 (the “Regulations”) will come into effect on February 23, 2011. The Regulations will implement the EU Timeshare Directive into UK law, replace entirely the current regime in the UK by repealing the Timeshare Act 1992 and revoking the Timeshare Regulations 1997, and add certain additional consumer protections.
For those involved in fractional and timeshare developments subject to UK law, some key elements of the Regulations include:
- requiring important key information (i.e. an Information Statement), in a standardized form, to be provided in advance of a contract being agreed
- setting forth provisions for regulation of the form and content of the purchase contract (including no deposits, standard cancellation language and “no investment intent” language)
- mandating the use of an Information Statement related to exchange and resale transactions
- providing consumers with a right to withdraw from a regulated contract within a standard 14 day cancellation period, and the additional right to withdraw from a long-term holiday product contract when payment of the second and subsequent installments become due
- banning any payment in advance of the completion of the withdrawal period of the regulated contract
- setting out provisions for payment for a long-term holiday product contract by way of yearly installments
- providing for the automatic cancellation of a related credit agreement and other ancillary contracts when the regulated purchase contract is cancelled
- including sanctions and, where appropriate, criminal offences for non-compliance with the Regulations (notwithstanding that the Regulations also provide for contractual remedies for consumers)
The foregoing is just a brief introduction to the new UK Regulations that we wanted to bring to your attention. More information on the Regulations can be found by reviewing the summary published by the UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills.