It is incredible the amount of bad press maintenance fees seem to get, whether talking about luxury condos, timeshare or even full ownership, but the reality of the situation is that someone has to pay to ensure that both common areas as well as your property are kept safe and suitable to live in.
When you buy a timeshare, you will be expected to pay yearly maintenance fees like you would with any condo or apartment block, and the main purpose of these fees is to ensure that your timeshare property is kept in perfect condition for when you arrive the next year, which is in essence protecting your investment.
The money spent on maintenance fees will go towards covering the costs of decorating, repairing, cleaning and replacing items in your timeshare unit as well as the costs of operation and administration of these tasks. Not only do the maintenance fees cover your individual property but also the common areas like the pool, club house, spa, gym etc depending on the type of timeshare you have purchased.
Reputable timeshare operators and residence clubs will not seek to make any profit out of these charges and they are intended to cover the costs involved with keeping your property and the resort in perfect condition. You will find that many of the companies responsible for administering maintenance fees are registered non-profit mutual benefit organizations.
It goes without saying that paying annual maintenance fees to a company who take care of everything is much more convenient than organizing repairs yourself or dealing with other owners to contribute to the maintenance of common areas. You just pay your timeshare maintenance fees and relax.
Another myth about maintenance fees is that you have a choice about whether to pay them or not. The reality is that they are compulsory; and if you are in a timeshare complex, you will not be able to use your unit if your are not up to date with your fees. You could also be taken to court if your failure to pay these fees persists. In this way all owners are protected from having to foot the bill for those who choose not to pay. In some extreme cases, you could lose the rights to your property completely.
You should also expect that your fees will increase over time. Just like the cost of anything in life, timeshare maintenance fees will go up. It is inevitable. Usually this costs will reflect the rises in inflation and local labor costs. You may also want to consider that in some cases, the purchase of larger items needed for your unit may require additional top ups to your fees; you would need to check your contract to be sure of your responsibilities in that case.
To avoid any potential misappropriation of maintenance fees, your best bet is to always buy a timeshare from a company that has a long track record and preferably other resorts in a chain. That way you can be sure to benefit from both economy of scale and the company’s reputation for delivering value for money.