Time-Sharing is used in the context of tourism. It is a part-time right of housing in a holiday facility. The contract is comparable to a rental contract and grants the usage of the holiday facility for a certain time in the year. Instead of the rent, the user of the holiday facility pays an annual service fee. The contracts can differ from another.
The use of an apartment at a certain time in the year is granted for years.
The right of use can be sold, inherited, hired out or donated, therefore it is more flexible than a rental.
The price has to be paid in advance.
A functional market concerning time-sharing contracts does not exist. Therefore it is difficult to resell this right.
There are no financial advantages in comparison to tenancies. Costs and benefits are often out of proportion.
Operational and maintenance costs are unpredictable.
The European Community and Portugal have issued rules for consumer protection. The purchaser has the right to cancel the contract within 10 days. The seller has to hand out a leaflet containing all important information about the time-sharing contact. The purchaser can demand a leaflet in his native language. There are also certain minimum components the contract must contain.
An infringement of these rules on behalf of the vendor leads to a heavy fine.
A time-sharing contract has to be valid for at least 15 years. Otherwise the contract is void. If the parties did not agree upon a time limit, the right of use is assumed to last a lifetime.