There are many names for timeshare - multi-ownership, holiday ownership, vacation ownership and shared ownership to quote just a few, but whatever the label the concept is the same. Timeshare is the purchase of the right to spend holiday periods, usually one or two weeks, each year in a variety of vacation accommodation, at a resort or location of your choice from the available range for the duration of your “ownership”.
It is important to understand one very basic fact at the outset. You do not own the property nor any part of the real estate. You have acquired membership of the Club that gives you the right to use a property as holiday accommodation, in accordance with your category of membership, each year for the period of your membership.
When you buy timeshare, what you are effectively doing is fixing the price of your future holiday accommodation. In other words, you are buying your future holiday accommodation at today's prices. There are also other factors to take into consideration:
An extremely wide range. Many resorts comprise self-contained units fitted with varying levels of self-catering equipment - these will usually be in the form of apartments or individual chalets/villas. There are also hotel rooms & suites without self-catering facilities. Some resorts have a combination of both self-catering and hotel accommodation. In essence, there is accommodation to suit all tastes and needs and this is always fully described, together with on-site and local facilities and amenities, in the RCI directory or website, so you can select what suits you best, within the parameters of your timeshare ownership, when selecting your holiday destination.
The initial Membership Fee or purchase price; the Annual Club Maintenance Fee; the cost of getting to and from the resorts of your choice; the exchange company fees when utilizing a holiday exchange. Some resorts require a refundable damage deposit upon check-in, and, of course, you would be expected to pay for telephone calls, etc.
You will be issued after making your final payment, with a Membership Certificate that confirms the number of Club Units or Points to which your membership entitles you in exchange for occupancy rights of holiday accommodation each year for the duration of your membership. You can then book your holidays and start to enjoy all the benefits of being a full member of Africa Vacation Club. You will also be sent RCI Membership documentation, the exchange organization to which you are automatically enrolled as a member, directly from that company.
Although you have the choice of more than 200 Africa Vacation Club resorts in which to holiday, you also have the added benefit of being enrolled as a member of the international exchange organization, RCI (Resorts Condominium International). When you become an RCI member, you gain access to a world of exclusive holiday opportunities, not available to the ordinary holidaymaker. It enables you, if you do not wish to occupy accommodation at one of the Africa Vacation Club resorts, to swap your occupancy right for similar accommodation at another resort virtually anywhere in the world.
There are more than 4,000,000 RCI member families around the world, all of which own a timeshare occupancy right. RCI has over 4,000 affiliated resorts in almost 100 different countries, so your choice of holiday destination is almost limitless!
The system works by way of members, who do not wish to holiday at their home resort or resorts within their home club, depositing their week(s) into the RCI Spacebank and at the same time, or at a later date, submitting a request for accommodation at a selection of resorts featured in the RCI Directory. The success of an RCI exchange is entirely dependent upon members at other resorts around the world depositing their week(s) for exchange. The chances of securing accommodation in your chosen location are therefore increased the earlier you submit your request.
Remember, the Owner Services Departments at our Nairobi offices are happy to help and guide you through the exchange process as well as submitting your requests to RCI.
You should notify AVC in writing as soon as possible. Your occupancy rights can only remain totally protected if we have the most up-to-date address to which your annual club maintenance fee invoice should be sent. Invoices sent to the wrong address, resulting in non-payment, will result in suspension and ultimate cancellation of membership. You may request a new certificate reflecting your new address, for which a nominal fee will be charged.
It is always recommended that you make your reservation request as far in advance as possible in order to achieve the best chance of getting the resort and destination you desire. Certainly, if you plan to visit a popular resort or destination during peak season time or, for example, when your chosen location celebrates a festival – putting your reservation request in at least a year in advance is not too soon!
It should be borne in mind that major cities, have very limited availability at virtually all times of the year, so please do not expect to submit a request for such a place a few weeks, or even months in advance and anticipate that there will be accommodation available. It is always worth considering locations outside of the cities where there may be more resorts from which to choose and you can enjoy the peace and beauty of the countryside whilst being able to commute by train, bus or car into town when you wish! It is also important to have some flexibility, so when submitting your request you should provide a selection of resorts and at least 3 different travel date options.
Basically, these are providing you with an annual “currency” that you can “spend” on your holiday accommodation. The number of Points required to book accommodation is governed by the unit sizes, time of year, resort facilities and locations in which you can holiday. This value can be used within AVC’s 200 resorts and can even enable you to take several short breaks at some of the resorts (usually only available outside of peak holiday periods). Alternatively, if you wish to do an RCI exchange, your points will be used to have an AVC week allocated that will be deposited with RCI to facilitate the exchange.
Obviously, all the holiday accommodation comprising the AVC portfolio of resorts has to be maintained. The daily cleaning of units and common areas, gardens, swimming pools and any other facilities must be covered, plus the cost of administering the club - reservations, etc.
Therefore the amount levied is calculated by the Executive Committee of The Africa Vacation Club Management Association, as provided in the Constitution. It must be sufficient to ensure the proper management, functioning and administration of the Club including the levies and charges payable by the Club to the resorts and managing agents of the resorts in which the holiday accommodation is situated. Once the total cost for the year has been calculated the average is apportioned amongst the Club Members in accordance with the Constitution. Unlike many other clubs AVC’s annual fee also includes the annual RCI membership fee thus ensuring that your membership, provided you pay in a timely manner, never lapses so there will be no delays in processing your exchange requests.
The Annual Club Maintenance Fee for your first year of occupancy is added to your Membership fee and will be stated on your Membership Application so you will not be invoiced until the second year of membership. The invoices are raised around October/November and are payable by 31 December of the preceding year.
If you do not pay your Annual Club Maintenance Fee by the due date your Membership and all benefits will, initially, be suspended. This means you will not be able to book any holiday accommodation either within AVC or through the exchange facility. Suspension will remain in place until the debt, together with any interest accrued, is settled.
It is very important to remember that if you continue to leave your Annual Club Maintenance Fee unpaid, you will ultimately be in breach of your obligations as a Member and the Executive Committee of the Management Association will be constitutionally entitled to cancel your membership to safeguard the day to day running of the management of the club and resorts. This means you will lose the benefits of your membership and the hard earned money you paid to join Africa Vacation Club. If after cancellation of membership, you decide to reactivate it you will, of course, be required to pay all the arrears plus a reinstatement fee. We are sure you would not wish this to happen and AVC certainly would not want to lose you as Members!
It is imperative that ALL Members honour this obligation each year as it would not be fair for the burden to be carried by just a few. This is why it is payable whether or not a Member uses their occupancy rights in any given year.
There is a provision in the Constitution (which, is in common, globally, with all such holiday ownership or timeshare projects) to penalize those who default in their Annual Club Maintenance Fee payment obligations.
This payment should be considered in the same light as an annual subscription to a golf or health club, in that it must be paid to maintain the facility for all members, irrespective of whether any particular individual member uses it or not.
If, after being issued with your Membership Certificate, you decide you do not wish to remain a member, this is considered as your desire to relinquish your membership and the procedure for doing this has already been discussed above.
Should you decide not to proceed with your Membership Application before you have completed payment and issuance of your Membership documentation, the provisions of the application and the New Members Declaration that you signed will apply, i.e. that all monies paid will be forfeited.
If you know you are going to take a vacation the following year, your Club Units can be carried forward to the next year which will mean you can go away for a longer period or occupy a larger unit or even take your holiday during a higher season. You must use the Club Units carried forward before the end of the next year otherwise they will lapse.
Finally, if you are unable to take a vacation you can of course allow it to be used by your family or friends - all you have to do is tell AVC who will be holidaying in your place!
In case you have a pressing need in the current year and you had already used up the points, you can borrow the next year's points by paying the annual fee.