Timeshares in Florida are subject to several laws and regulations. Our lawyers provide representation for all matters related to timeshare development, operation, and management.
Timeshares are prevalent throughout Florida. At Becker, every Florida timeshare attorney stands ready to represent developers, timeshare management companies, and other clients statewide. With decades of relevant experience, we are intimately familiar with Florida’s timeshare laws, and we are well-versed in the issues that tend to lead to trouble. We help our clients avoid these issues whenever possible, and we help them resolve these issues as efficiently as possible when necessary.
In Florida, timeshares fall under the broader umbrella of community association and planned development law. However, Florida also has one particular law, Chapter 721 of the Florida Statutes, that speaks specifically to developers’, managers’, and owners’ rights, and obligations. Timeshare development, management, and operation implicate various other local, state, and federal laws as well, and maintaining compliance with all of these laws is essential for mitigating risk and avoiding unnecessary disputes.
About Our Florida Timeshare Practice
Who We Are
Our Florida timeshare practice falls within our Florida Community Association Law Practice Group. This Practice Group consists of more than 30 attorneys, including Practice Group Chair Kenneth S. Direktor and Ft. Myers Office Managing Shareholder, Joseph E. Adams. All of the attorneys in the Practice Group have experience handling timeshare-related matters, and we pair each of our clients with an attorney who has significant relevant experience and who serves as the liaison between our client and our firm’s other attorneys.
What We Do
We represent clients with respect to all aspects of developing, operating, and managing timeshare properties in Florida. While many people assume that a timeshare is simply a normal residential property with multiple owners, this is not the case. Due to the complex and varied laws, rules, and regulations that apply, developing a timeshare property is a unique proposition, and operating and managing timeshare properties requires careful planning and risk mitigation.
With this in mind, we emphasize comprehensiveness in our representation. Our Florida timeshare lawyers ensure that our clients have the information and tools they need to develop and monetize their properties in full compliance with the law. We help our clients mitigate their risk through the implementation of appropriate policies, procedures, and contractual protections, and we help them make informed and strategic decisions when unexpected issues arise.
Our Florida timeshare attorneys are available to assist new and existing clients with matters involving:
- Chapter 721 of the Florida Statutes
- Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (prohibiting “unfair or deceptive acts or practices”) and other applicable laws
- Property acquisition, development, and construction
- Insurance procurement and claims
- Mechanic’s liens
- Financing and fiscal management
- Time share sales and resales
- Timeshare cancellations
- Operational and management issues
- Hurricane preparedness
How We Help
Our timeshare clients rely on us to help them wherever and whenever their needs arise. We have worked with many of our clients for years, and many of these clients are in touch with our lawyers on a daily or weekly basis. These are just some of the ways a Florida timeshare lawyer at Becker helps our clients:
- Planning and Development Counsel – We represent clients throughout the planning and development phases of new timeshare projects. This includes assisting with property selection and due diligence, financing and purchase agreement negotiations, bidding and procurement, and construction project management.
- Formation, Compliance, and Governance – We help our clients choose appropriate entity forms and structures, and we draft and negotiate Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Shareholder Agreements, Operating Agreements, and other governance documents. Our Florida timeshare lawyers also assist with the drafting and implementation of necessary compliance policies and procedures.
- Day-to-Day Advice – We take pride in our accessibility, and our clients rely on their ability to get in touch with our lawyers whenever they have questions or concerns. Having a good working relationship with our clients is essential, as it gives our clients the trust they need to make confident and sound decisions.
- Drafting Public Offering Statements – Under Section 721.07 of the Florida Statutes, timeshare developers are required to file a public offering statement before offering any shares for sale. Our lawyers draft public offering statements for our clients and file them with the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes. We also assist with public offering statement amendments and other related matters.
- Drafting Timeshare Purchase Agreements – Our lawyers have drafted numerous timeshare purchase agreements and timeshare resale agreements for properties across Florida. These agreements need to be property-specific. Relying on “form” agreements is a common mistake that gets many companies into trouble.
- Reviewing and Negotiating of Other Contracts – Developers, timeshare management companies, and other entities involved with timeshares will typically have a broad range of contract-related needs. Our lawyers review and negotiate all types of contracts to help ensure that they contain adequate protections and do not contain ambiguities that create unnecessary risks.
- Analyzing Cancellation Requests, Complaints, and Other Issues – Many timeshare purchasers end up having buyer’s remorse, and there are plaintiffs’ lawyers who will aggressively pursue claims for cancellation and rescission. Our lawyers analyze cancelation requests, complaints, and other issues in order to help our clients determine the best path forward.
- Representation for Construction and Commercial Disputes – We have significant experience representing clients in construction and commercial disputes involving timeshare properties. Whether you are facing breach allegations or you need to pursue a claim for deficient performance or non-payment, our lawyers can protect your company’s interests in settlement negotiations, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or litigation.
- Representation for Time Share Owner Disputes – Our Florida timeshare attorneys have significant experience representing clients in disputes with individual owners. This includes disputes involving payment obligations, property damage, resale rights, fraud allegations, and claims for cancellation or rescission.
- Recordkeeping – Chapter 721 of the Florida statutes establishes several recordkeeping requirements for sellers and other entities. We help our clients set up systems to comply with these requirements, and we review our clients’ records to ensure compliance on an ongoing basis. We can also play a more active role in maintaining recordkeeping compliance if desired.
FAQs: Developing, Operating and Managing Time Share Properties in Florida
What are some of the key provisions of Florida’s timeshare law (Chapter 721) for developers?
Chapter 721 contains numerous provisions that are of critical importance for timeshare developers in Florida. As an example, Section 721.056 provides that, “it is the duty of the developer to supervise, manage, and control all aspects of the offering of a timeshare plan, including, but not limited to, promotion, advertising, contracting, and closing.” This section goes on to state that any violation of this duty is deemed a violation not only by the developer, but also, “by the person actually committing such violation.” This underscores the critical importance of Chapter 721 compliance for timeshare developers in Florida. Violations of the statute can result in liability not only at the entity level, but potentially for officers, salespeople, and other individuals as well. Our Florida timeshare lawyers rely on extensive experience to help ensure that our clients (and their executives and employees) are adequately protected.
What are the requirements for timeshare public offering statements in Florida?
Under Section 721.07, a public offering statement must meet several structural and substantive requirements, and they are subject to approval by the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes (the “Division”). While developers can conduct sales activities before receiving approval from the Division, they must be very careful (and meet certain additional requirements) when doing so, and they must provide appropriate notices to buyers following Division approval.
What do new timeshare developers need to know about cancellations and rescissions?
Florida’s timeshare law provides buyers with a right of cancellation during a 10-day “cooling off” period. Buyers also have the right to seek rescission for certain violations of the law. When offering timeshares in Florida, new developers must be cognizant of all of the various rules and restrictions that apply, and they must take these rules and restrictions into account when conducting marketing, sales, and other activities.
What are the risks of non-compliance with Florida’s timeshare law?
In addition to potential rescission of purchase contracts, non-compliance with Florida’s timeshare law can have other serious consequences for developers, management companies, resellers, and other entities. The same is true for the various other local, state, and federal laws and regulations that apply. As a result, legal compliance needs to be a priority, and companies involved in Florida’s timeshare industry need to work with experienced legal counsel who can help them navigate the landscape successfully.
Speak with a Florida Timeshare Attorney at Becker
Contact us to schedule an appointment with a Florida Timeshare Attorney at Becker today.