Timeshare Terminology


A guide through some of the phrases, jargon and lingo used in timeshare.

Spanish for lawyer/solicitor, sometimes an advocate.

Accrued Time
Exchange companies use this term for weeks accumulated from prior years that are available for use in the current year.

Exchange companies use this term to represent those resorts with whom they have exchange agreements with.

Amber Week
See 'Season'.

Appartado (de Correos)
This is Spanish for post office box number.

Depositing a week of timeshare into an exchange company 'bank'. See also 'Block Banking'. Also called Space Banking.

Timeshare salesmen use this term for prospective purchasers who avoid buying and say that they will ‘be back’. Salesmen generally refer to them as ‘no be-backs’ and other, unprintable names.

Use of a fixed week every other year (EOY). Owners either have or are referred to as ‘Odds’ or ‘Evens’ year timeshare owners.

Blagger (trade slang)
Liar. Often refers to a skilled salesman or his manager.

Block (or Bulk) Banking
The depositing, usually by the resort management, of a large number of weeks into the exchange company 'bank' at the earliest time possible. This is to enable owners to get the maximum exchange bargaining power.

Blue Week
See 'Season'.

Bonus Time or Bonus Week
An additional week of use – usually only for one or two years – given to an owner as a bonus (eg for purchasing), or if additional weeks are temporarily available when a small additional charge may be made.

Business Check
This is a website constructed by KwikChex Ltd on the instruction of the RDO. They suggest that the enterprise has some form of the mandate which it doesn’t.

Buy / Sell
A deception in which a timeshare buyer is falsely promised that a current timeshare will be sold to defray the cost of the new purchase.

Each week in the year is given a week number and a calendar is provided to timeshare titleholders giving the actual date each year, of their numbered week. Note: Not all timeshare resorts operate to the same calendar.

Club / Trust System
The most generally used system of timeshare ‘ownership’ in the UK. Owners belong to a Club and their accommodation unit (and sometimes the leisure facilities) are held by trustees who hold or licence a ‘right-to-use’ to ‘owners’.

Class Action
A uniquely US legal system for a group of individuals to make a claim in a US court. Group actions are allowed in England but not the European Court.

Clumper (trade slang)
A 'heavy' or person, usually acting with physical force - enforcer of sales territory and rules. See 'Security'.

Code of Conduct
Standards of trading between a trader and consumer, drawn up by a trade or consumer body, to increase consumer security and confidence in the timeshare product or service.

Cold Line (trade slang)
The resorts' sales teams use this term for making sales to consumers from outside the resort 'cold'. See also 'Warm Line'.

The collection of inter-related legal documents establishing the relationship between timeshare owner, developer, trustee and management company. Effectively the rules by which the club/unincorporated association is run and which imparts the maintenance on timeshare owners.

Cooling-Off Period
The time given to a purchaser following the signing of a purchase agreement, during which they may cancel without penalty.

Outright proprietorship of a week by a ‘Deed of Title‘, often recorded at a central land registry. The 'escritura' system in Spain is a deeded classification, but deeded timeshare ownership is contrary to UK law – hence the Club/Trust system.

Destination Club
Similar concept to a holiday club (qv) in promising access to timeshare accommodation but the club lacks the certainty of rights of access to accommodation.

The company owning the freehold of the resort; who construct the accommodation and leisure facilities. They claim they only make their profit from the initial sale to ‘owners’.

Developer's Price
The full developer's retail price is often massively overstated by resale organisations so as to validate the saving they offer at the presentations or when buying from them.

End-User Finance
Provision of a loan to enable an 'owner' to purchase a timeshare mostly as a 'linked loan' arranged by the selling agent and unsecured.

The Spanish term for the deeding and registering of a ‘Deed of Title’. Similar to registration in the Land Registry in England and Wales

Escrow Account
An account for the secure holding of money and assets (ownership certificate etc) by a third party (usually an approved solicitor or accountant) until the full terms of a purchase agreement are satisfied. Then both parties agree to the release of the buyer's money to the seller and the seller's certificate to the buyer.

Exchange Company
A company that arranges for 'owners' to exchange between resorts. Most charge a membership fee and all charge an exchange fee.

Exit Program
An (expensive) option offered to timeshare 'owners' to enable them to buy out of ownership.

Factoring Fee (‘Factorial’)
Scottish term for the management company profit mark-up included in the Management Agreement.

Five Star
Top quality rated resort in the Interval International system

Fixed Time
‘Ownership’ of a specific week in a specific unit of accommodation. The week will always fall at the same time of the year.

Floating Time
‘Ownership’ of an unspecified week, in an unspecified unit of accommodation (and, sometimes, at an unspecified resort). To make use of a floating time week the owner must either book the exact dates that he wants (in competition with the other owners) or wait a week to be allocated to him each year.

A holiday package where the resort pays the holiday costs of a prospective purchaser in return for that prospect attending a tour/sales presentation.

Fractional Ownership
Halfway house between timeshare and full ownership – usually with between 6 and 12 owners deciding amongst themselves how the weeks are shared between them.

Go Timeshare
This is another industry association which attempts to offer consumers timeshare advice, it is controlled by the RDO who were the OTE which changed its name from the Timeshare Council.

Gold Crown
The top-quality resort rating in RCI.

Group Ownership
Another term for timeshare.

Guest Certificate
Certificate issued by the exchange company authorising a nominated guest to use an exchange instead of the owners.

Spanish Tax Office.

Home Owners Association. The US equivalent of an Owners' Club.

Holiday Certificate
See 'Ownership Certificate'.

Holiday Club
A club which promises a number of weeks holiday, usually in timeshare accommodation. Holiday Clubs are generally bad news.

Holiday Licence
See 'Ownership Certificate'.

Holiday Ownership
Another term for timeshare.

Hospitality Award
The lowest ranking award by RCI to a resort. The award reflects a good standard of reception and staff attitude towards owners/visitors.

Interval International
(“II” or “Interval”) The second largest exchange organisation in the world.

Internal Personal Contacts
IPC Sales staff employed to sell to existing owners. see also OPC.

Abbreviation for Spanish Value Added Tax.

This enterprise is controlled by Mr Emmins and has a commission from the RDO again to impart their form of consumer advice on consumers.

Legal Team (trade term)
A small group of experienced salespeople used to cajole, threaten and harass purchasers into continuing with their purchase.

Leisure Charge
A charge, in addition to the management fee, for use of leisure facilities. Often charged where leisure facilities are shared with other users – hotel guests, country club members etc.

In a points club, the annual charge to members to pay for administration of the club – in addition to any management charge or supplementary management charge made for actual use of a week. The once-only charge made to owners by an Owners' Club or management company to pay for major or unexpected costs.

Like for Like
The practice of most exchange companies to offer an exchange of a similar quality and popularity to that being put into the exchange bank.

Industry name for an ordinary salesperson.

Linked Agreement
A method of circumventing the law banning the taking of deposits. One agreement (the Timeshare Purchase Agreement in which NO deposit is shown) is linked with another (which can be a holiday voucher; extra holiday scheme etc.) which is, in reality, the deposit. The two agreements are made to appear NOT be linked when, in reality, they are.

Lock Off
Description of an accommodation unit which can be divided into two independent units, each with their own access. More common in the US than Europe.

Maintenance Fees
See 'Management Fees'.

Management Company
The company contracted, usually by the Owners' Club, to carry out day-to-day management of the resort. Very often owned or controlled by the developer.

Management Fees
The fees, usually paid annually, by each owner or points club member to cover the costs of running the resort on a day-to-day basis and often including a contribution to a sinking fund.

Marketing Company
A separate company from the developer responsible for marketing. Sometimes a developer will manage the on-site marketing and employ a separate marketing company to manage off-site marketing.

Mind Timeshare
Another consumer website financed by the RDO. Its director is Alberto Garcia and in 2014 was subjected to a penal notice in a defamation case.

Another term for timeshare.

Occupancy Size
The number of individuals that can use a unit. Often shown as two figures – the second being the number that has total privacy (ie. private access to the bathroom) the first number is the total capacity allowing for additional beds created in public rooms etc.

OPC (Off Premises Contact)
Salesmen whose task it is to get qualified prospects to attend a sales presentation (on-site or off-site) using “collect a gift” or “scratch card win” techniques etc. A street “salesman”.

OTE (common usage)
Organisation for Timeshare in Europe. The previous name for Resort Development Organisation (RDO), a trade body.

Owners' Club
The club to which all owners at a resort (or points club) belong. Sometimes the club is constituted as a company, but generally as a members' club. Not all resorts have an owners' club.

Ownership Certificate
The certificate confirming either, the right to use or, the title to, the property. Sometimes referred to as a Holiday Certificate or Timeshare Certificate.

These are trained legal personnel. They are not solicitors, however, they work in conjunction with a solicitor or in non-contentious forums.

Spanish wealth tax.

Forever; for eternity; infinite. The law in some countries (England and Wales for example) does not allow licenced property rights for more than 80 years.

Plus Valia Tax
Spanish capital gains tax.

Points Clubs
A timeshare system where ‘owners’ hold points which entitle them to use a period (varying from a few days to a few weeks) every year from a choice of resorts.

Private Residence / Vacation Club
Similar to fractional ownership (qv).

Property Bonds
A system, similar to points clubs, for owning shares or bonds in a company owning properties.

Qualified Prospect
Consumers who fit the profile that the developer and/or marketer considers are most likely to buy timeshare. Often "married and aged between 25 and 45″.

This is the Resort Development Organisation who claims to be timeshare legitimate industry body.

Recourse Agreement
An agreement between a finance company and a developer where the developer pays off any outstanding debt if a purchaser financed by the finance company defaults on a finance agreement.

Red Week
See 'Season'.

The removal of rights to use a Club (or management company) for breach of the Constitution (usually non-payment of management fees) and the sale of those rights to recover any debt. Deeded property cannot normally be repossessed.

Resale Brokers / Agents or Resellers
Businesses who either:

  • Buy timeshare weeks from existing owners and sell them to new owners (brokers)
  • Act as agents to put an owner and a buyer in contact to enable a sale to be made. They will charge a commission on the sale.

Resort of International Distinction (RID)
The middle of three ratings of resorts in RCI. Gold Crown is the top rating.

Resort Condominiums International (RCI)
The largest exchange organisation in the world. American based with substantial offices in major parts of the world – including England.

Resort Development Organisation (RDO)
A trade body. Previously known as OTE.

Right to Use
The legal term for the licence granted by trustees to an ‘owner’ of a timeshare.

The 'date rape' drug occasionally used by timeshare salesmen to secure a sale.

Sales Inspection Visit (SIV)
Developer term for prospective purchasers to stay at a resort for a few days, for a low cost, on condition they attend a sales presentation.

Exchange company division of the weeks in a year into popular (Red), shoulder (White for RCI or Amber for II) and off-peak (Blue for RCI or Green for II) for the calculation of trading power in exchanges. Each resort may have different seasons depending on the geographic position etc.

Trade euphemism for 'clumpers' (qv)

Sinking Fund
A portion of the management fee specifically dedicated to ensuring that the main structure, furniture and fittings of accommodation units (and sometimes leisure facilities) are kept in an ‘as new’ condition for the full period of ownership.

Slapping (trade slang)
Beaten up by a 'clumper' (qv)

Space Banking
Depositing a week of owned timeshare with an exchange company.

SPIFF (trade term)
Special incentive bonus for future sales – an occasional commission payment to incentivise salespeople.

This is the industry's attempt at a consumer association. The enterprise consists of a board of directors, the majority of which are associated with Diamond Resorts. Indeed, the CEO is Henry or Harry Taylor (dependant of which form has been filled in) and was director of Diamond Resorts for many years. They claim that they are 25 years old however that age is not reflected in Companies House records. They receive sponsorship from the timeshare industry. Pursued by Tess Paralegal who won their case for Defamation in 2017

TATOC Consumer Helpline
This is another enterprise set up by TATOC it is managed by another ex-Diamond Resorts employee and supervised by Harry Henry Taylor an ex Diamond Resorts Director.

A right, shared with others, to occupy a unit of accommodation for a period of time (usually a week) on a regular basis for a number of years. Sometimes referred to as ‘Holiday Ownership’, ‘Multi Ownership’ or ‘Group Ownership’. Timesharing can be in a single building, an apartment block or a boat.

Timeshare Certificate
See 'Ownership Certificate'.

The Timeshare Consumer Association Portal
This was the web address of the old timeshare consumer association. After the death of Sandy Grey, the site codes were lost and when payments for yearly fees have not met the industry took it over. They now refer consumers to the industry associations TATOC and RDO.

The Timeshare Council
An RDO financed enterprise with a website which imparts 'industry advice' onto consumers.

Timeshare Directive
A European Parliament order to all nation states within the EU to implement timeshare laws

Timeshare Interval
Period of use – usually one week.

Timeshare Task Force
This is an enterprise set up by the RDO. Its aim is to verify companies which work in the industry. The site is maintained by KwikChex Ltd a paid servant of the RDO. Many ignore this enterprise and refuse to pay any verification fees as they do not have any mandate.

Tour (trade phrase)
Sales presentation.

Trading Power
The exchange trading value of a timeshare week used by exchange companies to decide what week an owner will be offered in exchange for their own week. Influenced by the popularity of resort area, quality of the resort, popularity of week and size of accommodation unit.

A bank, trust company or a group of individuals who hold timeshare accommodation.

The offer by an exchange company to provide two weeks use in exchange for one week of ownership – usually only available to owners with highly desirable weeks for an exchange.

Unqualified Prospect (UP)
The industry term for a potential buyer.

Warm Line (trade slang)
The sales team for making sales to owners and visitors staying on the resort. See also 'Cold Line'.

Week 53
Almost all calendars contain only 52 weeks of use in a year – but roughly every seven years there is an extra week, week 53, which is generally reserved for the use of the Developer/Founder Member.

Week Number
See 'Calendar'.

White Week
See 'Season'.