Owners Deserve Better

We value timeshare owners and your input and opinions. Lemonjuice Solutions’ primary focus is helping owners find solutions and good outcomes through working with Board of Directors, Resort Managers, Management Companies, and Branded Developers. Our recent “Owners Deserve Better” survey is part of an ongoing effort to make sure that timeshare owners are empowered with knowledge and information. Our findings are below along with some solutions you may choose to explore.

The Results

Collectively, the owners who participated in the August survey expressed the following:

  • 79% of owners own at resorts 30 years of age or older

  • Resort ownership was mixed between independent resorts and branded resorts. Independent resorts represented 84% of the owners with 16% owning at branded resorts.

  • Nearly 60% of owners reported that rising costs of maintenance fees was their primary concern.

  • Renovation expense was the second highest level of concern of owners, with approximately 19% reporting they’d like to see renovations at their resort.

  • 51% expressed that they either don’t use or rarely use their resort, 30% said they use their resort yearly, and 20% use their resort every other year.

Other concerns expressed, to a lesser extent, were a desire for stronger communications and better management.

Thousands and thousands of timeshare owners have lost money to timeshare exit scams. Victims of timeshare exit scams could be entitled to restitution and other relief. If you believe you have been scammed, contact the Federal Trade Commission or your State Attorney General to file a complaint. Depending on circumstances, you may also want to contact an experienced timeshare lawyer to discuss other legal options.

Recognizing that maintenance fees are the number one concern, we thought we would take a moment to review the greatest drivers causing increased maintenance fees. The advent of predatory exit companies in the mid-2000s that hoodwinked owners created a tsunami of problems for timeshare resorts, with the number one issue being accelerated owner attrition.

Naturally occurring lifestyle changes has also contributed to the erosion of owner bases passing the tipping point for many older resorts. The result? Maintenance fees of the individual owners remaining have creeped up, discouraging both new owner sales and encouraging many owners to seek a way to exit. The more people who leave, the more the remaining must pay in maintenance fees.

This untenable situation must be resolved. And while we have answers and options, the Board of Directors must choose to act in ways that are not familiar and certainly not what they had in mind when they volunteered.

There are other nuances and contributing factors to increased maintenance fees. When the timeshare product was initially conceived and being built, few developers, if any, contemplated a time when owners would want to sell their week or weeks. As travel preferences and lifestyles changed, many want out of their timeshare. Technological advances and the advent of the online travel agencies and companies like Airbnb have added to owners’ desire to travel differently. Inflationary pressures, driving up operating costs mixed with a shrinking owner base, make it difficult for the Board of Directors.

What can you do?

There are some steps owners can take.

The first suggestion is for you to become familiar with your resort’s governing documents, commonly referred to as the CC&R’s or Declaration and Bylaws. Most states require these documents be provided at closing and typically can be found with the closing documents you received upon purchase.

If you don’t have them, you may find that your resort management team has uploaded them to the on the resort’s website or you may contact the resort manager who should be able to email you a set. If these attempts to get the closing documents are unsuccessful, almost all counties and local jurisdictions provide online access to the governing documents online. If you’re having trouble, let us know and we’ll obtain them for you.

Either way, get them, and read them – a few times. The importance of governing documents cannot be over-emphasized. They are the roadmap for operating the resort and key to decision making.

After you become familiar with the governing documents, become involved in your resort’s governance. Help the resort by serving on a committee or serving on the Board of Directors. Help make the decisions and determine the resort’s destiny by being a new voice and providing new perspectives. Any owner is eligible to volunteer to be on a committee that oversees budget, renovations, special projects, seek out a new management company, and explore other non-conventional solutions such as a reimagination.

How do you go about getting more involved? Make sure you know when your resort is holding board meetings and annual meetings. Speak with the resort manager, reach out to the Board President, or simply throw your hat into the ring when elections are held for Board of Directors during the annual meeting.

If your schedule simply does not allow for you to volunteer, contact your Board of Directors, and ask them to contact Lemonjuice Solutions to evaluate the budgets and governing documents for future planning.

Do you simply want out of your timeshare week?

If your goal is to relieve yourself of your timeshare ownership, there is hope. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) has spearheaded the Coalition for Responsible Exit. This program has many participating developers and management companies that will help you in a variety of ways - including taking your timeshare from your hands.

If your resort does not participate in the Responsible Exit program, call your resort manager and ask if your resort has a “deed back” program. Typically, resorts will take your deed back for a fee along with being current on your maintenance fees.

If neither of these two programs are a good option for you, Lemonjuice Solutions recommends that you contact Timeshares Only. As a Featured Reseller of American Resort Development Association’s Coalition for Responsible Exit, Timeshares Only has been assisting owners with buying, selling, and renting their timeshares for over thirty years. Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, you may call them at 407-465-2257 to list or rent your week until it sells. Please make sure to mention the code LJS 66103 to receive a 50% discount on Timeshares Only services.

Finally, remember that we put owners first. We understand that timeshare owners often have many cherished memories created from vacationing either at their home resort or through exchanging them. Our experienced team has decades in the industry, and we too have enjoyed many timeshare vacations with memories that will always be special.

We are not an “exit company.” We support the timeshare experience and want to make sure owners get the most out of their timeshare ownership experience. Our hope is to educate owners, whose lifestyles have changed, in a positive manner that contributes to the long-term health of the resort and industry. You can learn more about us here.