From 23 February 2011 the law changes and a number of other types of holiday marketing schemes are covered.
The new Regulations are The Timeshare, Holiday Products, Resale and Exchange Contracts Regulations 2010.
They introduce controls on the marketing of holiday schemes, require that certain documents are included in contracts and create new cancellation rights.
The Regulations apply to the following types of contract; please refer to the Regulations for the precise definitions.
'Timeshare contract' - a contract of a duration of more than one year under which a consumer, for consideration, acquires the right to use one or more overnight accommodation for more than one period of occupation.
'Long term holiday product contract' - a contract of a duration of more than one year under which a consumer, for consideration, acquires primarily the right to obtain discounts or other benefits in respect of accommodation in isolation or together with travel or other services.
'Resale contract' - a contract under which a trader, for consideration, assists a consumer to sell or buy a timeshare or a long term holiday product.
'Exchange contract' - a contract under which a consumer, for consideration, joins an exchange system which allows that consumer access to overnight accommodation or other services, in exchange for granting to other persons temporary access to the benefits of the rights deriving from that consumer's timeshare contract.
The word 'consideration' means payment of money by any method (cheque, credit or debit card, finance agreements, etc) and is also likely to include swopping anything of value, for example an existing holiday scheme for a new one.
However, our advice for consumers remains
Timeshare, timeshare exchange and holiday club contracts are complex and very often expensive.
You should not sign the contract or any other document without seeking independent legal advice.
If the seller will not allow you to take away an unsigned contract then you should ask why not; if the offer is genuine they will have nothing to lose.
Do not pay a deposit or sign the contract just to get out of the presentation; you may not be able to cancel or the seller may delay paying your deposit back.
There is advice for businesses at http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/consumer-issues/buying-and-selling/timeshare
See below for contracts signed before 23 February 2011