Decree Law No. 37/2011
- Issuer: Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Development
- Diploma Type: Decree Law
- Number: 37/2011
- Pages: 1346 - 1371
Summary in plain english
What is it?
This decree-law changes the rules for time sharing contracts, in which a consumer acquires the right to use a holiday accommodation during certain periods.
Most of these rules also apply to the following contracts:
- buying long-term holiday products – in which the consumer acquires the right to discounts or other benefits regarding accommodation (discount cards, vacation clubs, etc.)
- resale – in which the consumer pays a professional to help buy or sell a timeshare or a long-term holiday product
- exchange – in which the consumer pays to join an exchange system that gives them access to accommodation or services in exchange for giving other members access to their timeshare.
What will change?
Length of timeshare contracts
The minimum length of a contract is now one year.
Consumers used to have the right to use the accommodation for a minimum of one week and a maximum of one month per year. Now, the duration of the timeshare is agreed between buyer and seller.
More information for the buyer
Before signing the contract, the seller must give the potential buyer a document, which describes in a clear, precise and understandable manner, the following:
- the tourist resort where the accommodation is located
- the rights and duties that the contract specifies.
This information is given for free, in paper or digital format, and in the language of the European Union (EU) country where the consumer is from or currently lives – as long as it is an official EU language.
The seller must also inform the consumer that:
- they have 14 days to withdraw from the contract, without having to justify why or make any payment
- during this period it is prohibited to make or receive any payment, including advance payments or deposits.
When a seller invites a consumer to an event to try to sell them timeshare or a long-term holiday product, it must state clearly on the invitation that the event is for commercial purposes.
These products may not be advertised or sold as an investment.
Payment of long-term holiday products
When these products involve the right to use accommodation, they can now be paid in equal annual installments.
The consumer may cancel the contract without having to pay any penalty, as long as they inform the seller no more than 14 days after receiving the request to pay the annual installment.
What are its benefits?
This decree-law is intended to:
- reinforce consumer protection, ensuring that information is clearer and more transparent
- stimulate the market’s competitiveness and promote a more diverse and higher quality offer.
When does it come into effect?
This decree-law comes into effect 30 days after being published.
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