The option or ownership in terms of property pertains to the right to use or ownership of a specific property, as listed in the agreement or title. The most common timeshare is found with holiday, vacation or resort properties, such as condominiums. In the case of this type of ownership, there are normally multiple parties involved, and each party has the right of use at the agreed upon or specified time, this period of usage is normally the length of one calendar week. The property upon which the timeshare unit is situated is normally not included in the agreement and this ownership pertains to right of use or lease as described in the agreement.


The concept of timeshare is said to have developed in a ski resort in the French Alps, where the hotel marketed the concept of rather buying the hotel instead of renting a room – this concept soon gained popularity and has grown from strength to strength from when the idea was conceived in the mid 1960’s. At this time the resort industry was in a depression and the concept of timeshare provided the much needed boost.

The concept of timeshare exchange has transformed the timeshare industry, in which a purchaser will purchase a ‘week of ownership’ that may be deeded at a specific resort, but is purchased with the explicit intention of future exchanges. The resort that the purchaser does the so-called purchase in, will determine the value of his or her exchange, as certain resorts and geographical locations have higher attractions for visitors, and thus influence the exchange value of the timeshare. The two major players in the exchanging of timeshare on an international basis is Resort Condominiums International (RCI and Interval International (II), which are headquartered in New Jersey and Miami, USA respectively.

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