“Like a Rock”: Uniting Owners in One Strong Voice

Timeshare owners get it. They know that owning a timeshare means a guaranteed once-in-a-lifetime vacation at least once a year, every year, for as long as they want to take it. Owners know that the experiences and memories they gain on these vacations with their families and loved ones far outweigh any negative perceptions or influences they may have to endure. In fact, 83 percent of timeshare owners are highly satisfied with their vacation ownership experience. But how can we, as an industry, ensure that satisfaction rate not only stays strong, but increases? – By creating an environment in which owners know that their vacation experience is preserved and protected. The American Resort Development Association – Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) is proud to take on such a complex task through advocacy.

ARDA-ROC is a powerful resource that gives timeshare owners a united voice in state capitols all across the country and in Washington, D.C. Representing more than one million timeshare owners, ARDA-ROC works with leaders in the timeshare industry – developers, managers, homeowners’ associations – as well as lawmakers and law enforcement officials to provide consumers an enriched vacation ownership experience that is well-protected.

Empowered by timeshare owners, ARDA- ROC effectively influences legislation that strengthens the timeshare industry, giving owners countless memorable experiences. To ensure vacation ownership continually remains preserved and protected, ARDA-ROC focuses its advocacy on four main pillars of legislation.

Resale and transfer legislation: ARDA-ROC helps protect owners from falling victim to scams by introducing or assisting in passing pro-consumer legislation, allowing owners to safely and gracefully exit their timeshare ownership. These legislative efforts continue to protect owners by holding accountable those companies that use deceptive business practices in an attempt to defraud owners. To date, ARDA-ROC has successfully introduced, passed, or supported beneficial resale and transfer legislation in these 12 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico.

Timeshare owner privacy laws: ARDA-ROC ensures that the owner’s privacy is always protected by enacting responsible privacy laws that withhold personal information from being shared with third parties for commercial purposes, unwanted solicitation, or fraudulent activity. Responsible privacy laws also include the preservation of open communication channels between owners and homeowners’ associations (HOA) in order to participate in essential meetings and proceedings. In fact, communication is vital to timeshare owners. Whether it’s obtaining proxies for a board of directors’ upcoming election or raising awareness about issues pertaining to a specific resort, timeshare owners need to be able to communicate frequently with fellow owners.

Transient accommodations tax (TAT): ARDA-ROC strongly opposes any effort to impose an accommodation tax on the use of a timeshare unit by an owner or exchange guest. Timeshare owners already pay a number of taxes and fees related to their purchase and ownership obligations. Adding an additional tax like TAT, when owners want to extend their vacation experience beyond their home resort, would ultimately put limits on the owner’s vacation ownership. ARDA-ROC has successfully opposed potentially damaging accommodation tax in these seven states: Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Non-judicial foreclosure: ARDA-ROC saves HOAs time and money by supporting non-judicial foreclosure laws that enable the trustee of a timeshare to conduct a foreclosure sale outside the court system. Applying judicial foreclosure laws to timeshare interests is costly in comparison to the value of a single timeshare unit. It is also very time-consuming, as well as a burden on the already stretched judicial system in many states. Non-judicial foreclosure reduces the burden of increased maintenance fees on the rest of the dues-paying ownership, and foreclosed owners are not subject to deficiency judgements for delinquent assessments.

Using these four main pillars, ARDA-ROC has championed owners’ interests for
their timeshare on every regulatory and legislative level for more than 25 years! And today, ARDA-ROC is looking to continue building strong relationships with local law enforcement officials, as well as regulatory agencies in order to provide timeshare owners with an even greater protected and preserved experience. As future generations begin to enjoy the sharing economy, timeshare ownership will continue to be a valued community that must remain preserved, protected and enhanced.

For more information on ARDA-ROC, visit www.arda-roc.org.