Consumers considering a time share in Alberta will have increased protection thanks to new tougher regulations being introduced by the Alberta government that include requiring time share businesses to be licensed and clearly disclose their terms and conditions.
“Our existing regulations are over a decade old, and the time share industry has changed a lot since then,” said Service Alberta Minister Heather Klimchuk. “These regulations are up-to-date with the industry’s current practices and will help ensure consumers have access to the information they need when considering purchasing time shares.”
The amended Time Share Contracts and Points-based Regulation, under the Fair Trading Act, will come into effect November 1. It will require all time share businesses operating in Alberta to obtain a licence from the provincial government and post security. The changes update existing regulations to account for new industry practices. Other consumer protection provisions of the regulation include:
- requiring timeshare businesses to fully disclosure their terms and conditions, including a full description of the timeshare property, the time period the consumer can use the property, the number of points provided under any applicable points programs, and the total cost to the consumer including additional fees;
- allowing a consumer to cancel a contract within a year if the time share business does not meet specific regulatory and disclosure requirements;
- ensuring consumers have the right to use the timeshare property even if it is refinanced by the developer; and
- preventing time share businesses from specific misleading sales tactics such as misrepresenting the availability of prizes, gifts, discounts or other promotional items.
“Most time share businesses do a good job of providing vacation choices for Albertans,” Klimchuk emphasized. “But it is important consumers have the information they need to make informed decisions and that they are protected from misleading practices. These rules will ensure they do.”
The Fair Trading Act allows for a maximum