Consumers who are ‘looking’ at buying a shared vacation ownership product should be checking the following issues:
1. Is the developer or marketing agent a member of a regulatory body approved by the Department of Trade and Industry; not a self-appointed body?
2. Buy a shared vacation ownership product because you plan on using it in the future. Consider your purchase as an investment in future vacations – not in terms of a property or other type of financial investment.
3. Does the sales documentation comply with the National Credit Act, Consumer Protection Act, Share Block or Sectional Title Scheme? Has it been fully completed? Are you satisfied that you understand all your obligations? Does the sales contract make provision for a deposit? Is this held in a trust account? Is the building complete? See the provisions of section 7 of the Property Timesharing Control Act – check the date of completion.
4. Carefully read all documentation and ensure that you understand exactly what type of product you are being offered. If necessary, ask for a clear explanation of any terminology and terms, such as ‘Space banking’ or ‘usage rights’.
5. Choose a shared vacation ownership option that suites your lifestyle. Think very carefully about what you value most in a holiday experience, and then explore the wide variety of options and products which are available. Select the option which will best suite your family’s lifestyle now and in the future.
6. To maximize your opportunities for exchange, buy the most desirable unit in high season or purchase the largest points package you can afford. If your primary goal in purchasing a shared vacation ownership product is to take advantage of the exchange benefit, know that the greater the demand for the unit or resort you ‘space bank’ for exchange, the greater exchange flexibility you will gain.
7. Make sure that you receive a copy of the contract on the day that you signed it. The contract must include the following: Acknowledgement of Presentation, Terms and Conditions and, where applicable, a Use Agreement and Management Rules, as well as a copy of the completed and signed section of the contract.
8. Have your sales documentation checked by an attorney or financial advisor with the necessary knowledge. You have the right to exercise a 5-day cooling off period but this must be done in writing within 5 working days of signing your contract. No verbal cancellation is accepted.