About the new Spanish Timeshare Act, number 4/2012, of 6th July.

This Law regulates the use in turns of turistic real estate (timeshare), the acquisition of long-term holiday products, their resale and exchange as well as tax regulations relating thereto.

This law substitutes the previous Timeshare Act, number 42/1998, that came into force the 5th January 1999. Its enactment has been following the European Union Directive 2008/122/CE. Its scope is wider as it not only deals with the timeshare, as did the previous one, but also regulates matters relating to holiday packages, resale and exchange, issues that were outside the previous law.

The Act is divided into three parts or titles. The first, or Title I (articles 1 to 22), deals with general rules applicable to all types of contracts, either timeshare or vacation packages. The second part, or Title II (articles 23 to 34), is about timeshare properly. Here is basically included all the content of the old law 42/98. Finally the last part, or Title III (articles 35 to 37), is on tax regulations. Consequently what is really new is Title I that  deals with the Directive transposition along seven chapters. 

Which are then the main features of this Title I?

The most striking features are:

-The voluntary withdrawal period (cooling off) goes from 10 to 14 days (Article 12).

-It is absolutely forbidden any payment in advance, constitution of guarantees, reservation of money on accounts or any other explicit acknowledgment of debt in favour of the trader or third party, before the end of the withdrawal period (Article 13).

The clauses relating to these two points will have to be signed separately by the consumer (Article 11.4).

-The law is very strict on precontratual advertising and information that has to be provided to the consumer. Articles 7 to 10 deal with this issue. It is imperative to hand over, "well in advance", a standard information form which has to be signed by the consumer and will be added to the contract when this is signed. There is a standard form included at the end of the Law.

-Finally the contract must be in writing, on paper or on another durable support. It has to be in the consumer’s language, wherever resident in the European Union and in Spanish if the trader carries out its business in

In future posts I will examine more in detail specific aspects of the Law, such as the cooling off period and its requirements, the payments in advance or the specific characteristics of the Duty of Information.