As a timeshare owner, you may find at some point that you are no longer using your timeshare even though you continue to pay annual fees. If you decide it’s time to let someone else share in the timeshare experience, you may be able to gift a family member by completing a timeshare title transfer. One of the side benefits of this type of transaction is the possibility that you’ll be invited to join the family for a future timeshare vacation.
Can Timeshare Deeds Be Transferred?
RCI, a timeshare exchange company that includes more than 4,300 resorts, suggests contacting your home resort first when you decide to sell or give away your timeshare. Your home resort is where you first purchased your timeshare and where you can find out if your timeshare title can be transferred. According to RCI, your home resort management may also agree to help by providing the required paperwork to process the title change.
If you have a right-to-use timeshare contract rather than a deed, the transfer process is greatly simplified and may just involve signing and filing documents with the timeshare company. This is why it’s important to contact your timeshare company about a transfer. You will also want to find out if you can transfer credits or points that have been banked as part of your timeshare agreement.
Preparing for a Timeshare Transfer
Before you can transfer your timeshare title, gather relevant documentation like your deed, purchase contract agreement, tax bills and your last maintenance fee bill. Most timeshare companies require an owner to be current with all taxes, assessments and maintenance fees before transferring ownership. If the original timeshare purchase was financed, the timeshare company may require the mortgage to be paid in full before the transfer can take place.
Completing a Timeshare Deed Transfer
In most cases, transferring timeshare ownership is very similar to transferring any other deeded real estate. A new deed must be prepared and recorded on the public record. After you have transferred your timeshare deed, you should notify your timeshare company. You may be charged transfer closing fees for processing the title change.
Timeshare owners can do their own timeshare deed transfer, but even a transfer where no money changes hands can be complicated. Hiring an experienced real estate broker or attorney to create a new deed is highly recommended to ensure that it conforms to local regulations. This is especially true if your timeshare is in a different location from where you live and you are unfamiliar with local property laws.
Timeshares With Perpetuity Clauses
Some timeshare contracts have what is known as a perpetuity clause that requires the owner to continue to pay maintenance fees for the remainder of his or her life. Owners who fail to pay their fees in this situation may face being reported to a collection agency, eventual foreclosure and loss of their timeshare investment. An attorney who specializes in contract law may be needed to help an owner relinquish timeshare ownership when a perpetuity clause is involved.
If you are trying to transfer timeshare ownership just to get out of a contract with a perpetuity clause, you may be able to get the timeshare company to take it back, also known as a deed back. Before you can return a timeshare, you must get agreement from the timeshare company. There are some circumstances, including bankruptcy and medical issues, where timeshare companies are required to allow a deed back as long as maintenance fees have been paid. Also, owners who have inherited a timeshare are automatically able to deed it back since they were not the original buyers, although an estate lawyer should be consulted before taking action.
Catie Watson spent three decades in the corporate world before becoming a freelance writer. She has an English degree from UC Berkeley and specializes in topics related to personal finance, careers and business.