The Timeshare Vacation Act of Jamaica became law on 23rd December, 2014 and the Act becomes operational on 1st May, 2016.
The Act is supported by the Timeshare Vacations (Registration, Licensing, Fees and Forms Regulations, 2016
The Act provides for the regulation of timeshare vacation schemes:
Reporting requirements for participants of timeshare exchange programmes;
The standard information provided to purchasers before they enter a timeshare contract.
The management of timeshare plans; and
The administration of funds paid over by purchasers.
HOW WILL THE ACT WORK
The Timeshare Vacations Act and Regulations are housed in the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica. However, the Act and the Regulations will be administered by the Timeshare Registrar which will be housed at The Real Estate Board/Commission of Strata Corporations.
Timeshare accommodations encompasses:
Ownership Structure in the Act:
Deed Based or
How is a timeshare plan registered?
Applications with all required documents and fees must be submitted to the Real Estate Board by the owner. Once an application is granted the Real Estate Board issues a registration certificate to the property owner.
Once a certificate has been issued the owner must submit the following to the Timeshare registrar to prevent certification from becoming void:
Certificate of Completion of Construction (which is issued by the parish council).
Certificate of Occupancy indicating that the accommodation meets the standards and are ready for use as timeshare accommodation or facility.
Proof that arrangements have been put in place for public liability insurance.
Tourist Board Act License.
Can marketing for reservations begin before the timeshare plan is registered?
Yes, it is possible with the permission of the Real Estate Board to market for reservations prior to registration. Before licensed proprietors can promote timeshare contracts, however, they must also register the Timeshare Plan in accordance with the provisions set out in the Act.
The application for registration of a Timeshare Plan should include:
Address and description of the timeshare accommodation;
Particulars of the property owner;
Evidence of the licence;
Evidence of financial requirements prescribed by the Act;
A copy of the timeshare contract;
Evidence that the relevant property taxes have been paid.
What is considered an offence in timeshare promotions?
Falsely advertising a timeshare plan with respect to the following is considered an offence:
Location of timeshare;
Nature or scope of accommodation, services or facilities;
Prediction of increase in property value;
Time in which timeshare service or facility will be provided;
Business as timeshare accommodation that isn’t registered, is suspended or in breach of the Timeshare Act.
What should the purchaser be given by the proprietor before executing a timeshare contract?
The property owner must provide the purchaser with a written statement outlining all the relevant information relating to the timeshare contract. Once this is done, the contract may be issued (within thirty days) but must be accompanied by the standard withdrawal form and a copy of each document issued to the purchaser during the promotion and offering of the timeshare accommodation. The purchaser will then be required to complete and return a notice of acknowledgement within seven days.
Can a purchaser withdraw from a timeshare contract?
Yes. The purchaser may withdraw from the timeshare contract by giving the property owner written notice of the withdrawal within a specified period (seven (7) day from the days the purchaser receives the contract). If the request is made during the withdrawal period the purchaser will be entitled to a full refund within twenty-one (21) days after a written withdrawal is issued. No reasons need to be given for the withdrawal
How does the purchaser receive a deed after he/she receives certification?
Once the purchaser receives certification, the proprietor may apply for a deed to be issued to the purchaser at the Registrar of Titles. The application should include the duplicate certificate of title with the endorsement, the registration certificate, the executed timeshare contract with the purchaser, together with the prescribed fee.
What is the purchaser entitled to once he/she has a deed to the timeshare accommodation/property?
The purchaser of a time share plan may assign and transfer those rights and obligations by an assignment or transfer of deeds or even create a mortgage, charge or security interest arising under the timeshare contract.
Can the mortgage be transferred to the purchaser?
Yes. Written permission must first be given to the mortgager by the Real Estate Board before the transfer can be entered in the Register Book of Titles. The Real Estate Board will ensure that all parties have given written consent.
What rights does a proprietor have in the Purchasers Association?
A proprietor may have the entitlements and obligations of a purchaser in respect to each unit including, voting rights in the purchasers association as well as liability to the capital reserve fund when their timeshare plan includes units of accommodation (the rights to occupation of which are not held by any purchaser)