About Advertising and pre-contractual information, Spanish Timeshare Law, nº 4/12 (Articles 7 to 10)

I will summarize, article by article, what the Law says about it.

Article 7 is about Advertising. It says that any advertisement or offer, as well as any commercial communication, has to clearly state where the consumers can obtain the pre-contractual information required under this Law. So information has to be upfront from the beginning.

Also says that any invitation to any promotional event or sale must clearly indicate the commercial purpose and nature of that act. The pre-contractual information provided in the Law has to be available to the consumer at any time during the promotional event. Very interesting point!

To finalize, this article leaves very clear that any timeshare right or any tourist long-term holiday product can not be marketed or sold as an investment.

The Article 8, regarding the information requirements, says that pre-contractual information has to be in paper or any other durable support and that it has to be provided to the consumer prior to the contract or its formalization.

Article 9 gives more specific information about what is the so called “pre-contractual information”. It says that has to be given “in good time” before the consumer accepts any offer or contract.

The seller must provide accurate and sufficient information in a clear and understandable way, of the following:

-         Identity, address and legal status of the trader or traders who are party to the contract.

-         Brief description of the product (eg, description of the property).

-         Nature and exact contents of the right or rights.

-         Exact period during which the right may be exercised under contract and, if necessary, its duration.

-         Date from which the consumer may exercise the contractual right.

-         If the contract relates to a specific property which is under construction, when the accommodation and services / facilities will be completed / available.

-         Price to be paid by the consumer for purchasing the right or rights

-         Overview of additional obligatory costs imposed under the contract, type of costs and an indication of the respective amounts (eg, annual contributions, other contributions recurring, special taxes, local taxes).

-         Summary of key services to be enjoyed by the consumer (eg electricity, water, maintenance, refuse collection) and the sums to be paid for such services.

-         Summary of facilities that can be enjoyed by the consumer (eg swimming pool or sauna). Are they included in the costs listed above? If not, specify what is included and what should be paid separately.

-         Is it possible to join a system of exchange? If yes, indicate the name of the exchange system.

-         An indication of the costs of membership or the exchange.

-         Is the merchant bonded to one or more codes of conduct and, if so, where can or can be located?

-         This information may also contain explanation on the right to cancel the contract without justification, which is of fourteen calendar days from the date of the contract.

-         During the withdrawal period, it is absolutely prohibit any advance payment by the consumer. The ban covers all compensation, including payment, provision of guarantees, cash reserve accounts, explicit acknowledgment of debt, etc.. It includes not only payments to the merchant, but also to third parties.

-         The consumer shall bear no costs or obligations other than those specified in the contract.

All this information will be included in the “Standard Information Form” that has to be signed by the consumer before signing any contract, and will be provided free of charges by the trader on paper or another durable support. This Standard Information will be part of the contract.

This information should be written in the language or one of the languages of the Member State of residence of the consumer.

The trader may publish the entire pre-contractual information on the website of the company, or on the website of a professional association or business of their choice, and are responsible for continuously updating the same.

Finally, Article 10 refers to the right of withdrawal and the prohibition of payments in advance, stating the before the contract is concluded  the trader shall inform the consumer, explicitly, of the existence of the right of withdrawal and the length of time for its exercise, and the ban on advance payments during that period, referred to in Article 13.

The very new issue is that the information has to be provided, in full, from the very beginning, the trader has the duty to inform the consumer on all this matter and it has to be written and signed being part of the contract (Article 11.2).