Escritura is the Spanish/Portuguese word for a deed or document, and this system of timeshare is often used in those countries. Simply, it is like buying a house in the UK whereby your ownership is recorded by a lawyer or solicitor with the land registry, except that with timeshare you just have your particular timeshare week(s) registered.
Escritura is the signing of a deed of ownership in front of a notary who will register your ownership and issue you with a document describing your ownership. Your rights of owning your specific week(s) are not protected by a separate entity e.g. a Trustee as is the case in the Club-Trust system of timeshare ownership.
It is possible to fulfil the requirements for a notary through the Spanish Consulate in London – they have a notary there, although the cost may be higher than in Spain say. The cost depends on the valuation of the asset and could be as much as 10% of the value. When dealing with a notary it is important to establish a realistic value for the asset, especially if it is a timeshare re-sale, or the notary costs may be exorbitant.
A notary is an officially appointed person who should ensure that the requirements of the law are fulfilled in order to legitimise the escritura. Someone from your timeshare resort should be able to point you towards a reputable notary who knows the local resorts and who is used to dealing with timeshare property transactions.
The following is the type of information likely to be included in an escritura:
- The date of the contract and information on the resort from the property register.
- Description of the right to be sold and how long it will last.
- Description of the building and the dwelling to be used, with their registration dates from the property register.
- Whether the dwelling has been terminated or not. If not terminated it must state at what stage of termination it is at the moment, reference given to building license from municipality, the stage of termination of common services, building description, list of furniture and equipment included and their value, and explicit reference to the guarantee of termination with a date for finishing the work.
- The price for the right of use, taxes and the annual costs.
- Common services and installations the buyer has the right to use, and eventual conditions for this use.
- If possibilities exist of taking part in an exchange system and the costs involved.
- Name and address of vendor and eventual inscription numbers in the Mercantile Register. If someone other than the owner sells, his legal relation with the owner must be indicated. Also, the eventual service company other than the owner must be mentioned.
- Duration of the right of use.
- Explanation of the rights of the buyer to check the title deed, giving name, address and fax number of the property register; the right to demand a title deed in the name of the buyer and having this inscribed in the property register.
- Place of signing and signatures.