Negligence in the Timeshare Industry

Were the timeshare industry and banks negligent in protecting timeshare consumers? Firstly we need to understand the definition of negligence:

Any act or omission which falls short of the standard to be expected of the "reasonable person". For a claim in negligence to succeed, it is necessary to establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to the claimant, that the duty was breached, that the breach of duty caused the claimant's loss and that the loss fell within the defendant's scope of responsibility and was a foreseeable consequence of the breach of duty.

Codes of conduct and self-regulation programs are commonplace, but are these initiatives just window dressing to appease critics and deter regulation?

There was never an independent body that regulated the timeshare industry. Instead, the timeshare industry created its own governing body. This body was designed and funded by Timeshare resorts. This 'pseudo' regulatory body was implemented to deter government and third-party regulation. In other words, they gave themselves a licence to conduct business without interference or punishment.

Hundreds of codes of conduct have been developed, and the vast majority of these are self-declared programs: A decade ago, self-declaring that your firm had adopted such a code may have convinced many stakeholders that your firm was taking the issue seriously. But, as has been proven, merely embracing a code is becoming increasingly suspect with the £48 million refund to Azure Resorts owners by Barclay's Partner Finance.

Negligence in the Timeshare Industry

Codes are an essential start, but what happens when there is no robust verification mechanism? Does it go without saying that the self-regulation of the timeshare industry was more of a marketing ploy than a substantive effort to address the underlying problems, or was it to appease or influence the finance companies?

We can only answer this question by looking at the vast financial and emotional detriment caused to thousands of families across the UK. Why do thousands of timeshare owners contact us yearly, complaining that they were mis-sold or sold their timeshares illegally as an investment? Are they all lying? Or does their collective outcry tell you they can't all be wrong?

Well, in the case of Club La Costa, Azure Resorts, Diamond Resorts, Silverpoint Point, and Resort Properties, the people were right! All of these, may I add, were part of the self-regulated code of conduct implemented by the timeshare industry.

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