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Timeshare in  Malta

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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 year.

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 another?

A fool and his money are soon parted. Timeshare targets fools.


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