Time Share in Malta
Here in Malta timeshare is alive and well.
There is a well organised racket. Timeshare touts hassle you to
attend an hour long presentation. They prime you what to say,
and tell you that you don’t have to buy anything, and that if
you attend the presentation you will get paid €25. They press
you to oblige because that way they will get €50. The whole
thing is a farce from start to finish.
I went to one simply because after travelling for two days I was
tired and hungry, and was heading for breakfast. “We’ll pay for
your breakfast. What do you want?” How could I refuse. We had an
excellent meal, and then repaired to a flash hotel where we put
up with the usual marketing garbage, and garbage it was.
First, they claim it is not timeshare any more, that things have
changed. Bullshit! It is old fashioned timeshare at its worst.
About three quarters of the way through I insisted someone tell
me what I was buying. Of course, no-one would answer that simple
question, so I put it is clearly as I could. If you buy a mobile
home or a houseboat mooring you are usually buying a licence to
occupy. That can usually be revoked on 30 days notice. You don’t
buy one of those. The best deal is to buy the hotel room. That
can be done in two ways. First, you simply buy the leasehold.
The hotel will then usually pay you half the income from that
room. You may also get as bonus 30 days usage of the room every
The second way to do this is to group buy. The sales company
does a deal which goes by the name of buddy-you-up. You are
buddied up with other folks. Suppose a room costs £100,000, and
you’ve got £10,000. You are joined up with, say, nine other
folks with a similar investment pot, and you buy a tenth share
of the room, and you get a legal document to that effect, so you
have a real asset which can be sold.
With timeshare you have no asset which can be sold. I was told
by a fat rude oaf supposedly in charge of sales that I was
buying a holiday. Hmmm, really? What’s that?
Let me explain the finance.
You pay a sum of money for ‘the holiday’. That could cost
anything from £3,000 to £6,000. That goes to pay for your share
of the room. Normally that would entitle you to your share of
the profits from the rental of the room. Not so with timeshare.
What happens is that you pay that money to the timeshare
operator who then gives (yes, that’s what I said, gives) the
title deed of your share to a trust company. So you have just
bought something that has been given to someone else. Nice
little racket. Too many customers are too stupid to notice this.
As to value, please note you have supposedly bought a week’s
timeshare. One week a year is given over to renovation (big
joke) so there are 51 shares to be bought. Let’s say you paid
£5,000 for your week. That means that hotel room will ultimately
be sold for 51 x 5000 which equals £255,000. That sounds a bit
expensive for the cost of one room. I recently built a two bed
bungalow for £30,000. Admittedly that was ex-wages, as it was a
family build, but…
We don’t stop there. That room now belongs to the trust company,
and the sales funds over and above the build cost go into some
faceless person’s pocket. You are now contracted to pay a
maintenance fee on that room. If you’d really bought it, using a
proper hotel room deal, the hotel would pay the maintenance from
the rental. The timeshare mob quoted me £400 a week maintenance.
Never mind what the real maintenance is, I am currently living
in one of the hotels on the timeshare list, that’s how I got
nobbled in the first place. I am paying roughly €300 a week for
my suite of rooms. That means a maintenance charge of £400 is
absurd. £40 is probably more realistic. I also have to pay extra
(£119) to enter the room swap system.
For pity’s sake, why would any sane person pay £5,000 for the
privilege is giving someone else the deeds to a share of a
commercial room, then pay a maintenance fee for the room which
exceeded the real rental cost of the room by a wide margin, and
then pay yet more money to be allowed to swap the room for
A fool and his money are soon parted. Timeshare targets fools.