Isle of Man tightens laws on timeshare

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THE GOVERNMENT of the Isle of Man is planning laws to deter undesirable timeshare companies from setting up businesses on the island.

A consultative document, due to be published next month, will propose legislation that would give a number of safeguards to anyone buying a timeshare from a company based on the Isle of Man.

These safeguards would include a 14-day cooling-off period, allowing people to pull out of a purchase should they change their minds, and a right to certain information about their contracts.

Stephen Beevers, an Isle of Man Treasury official, said the law would protect British people buying in Spain and elsewhere as long as the company they were buying from was under the Isle of Man's jurisdiction. Even companies which just use Isle of Man trustee services as part of their timeshare operations would be affected.

The Isle of Man authorities are worried that it may become home to companies moving from the UK to avoid new timeshare legislation introduced last year. The Timeshare Act gives people a 14-day cooling-off period if they buy from a company operating under UK jurisdiction, even if the purchase is made abroad.

According to the Timeshare Council, few timeshare companies are at present operating under UK law. The council also feared that UK companies using questionable marketing tactics would move to the Isle of Man if it did not introduce new regulations.

The Isle of Man authorities hope to have legislation in place by the end of this year.