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New-Spanish Supreme Court Ruling in Favour of Timeshare owners.
On the 5th of January 1999, the Spanish Government brought into law a Directive in Spain (42/98). This law imparted many rights and for the benefit of Timeshare consumers. It outlawed the taking of advanced payments, ruled unlawful Floating Timeshare contracts and limited general Timeshare contracts from perpetuity to no longer than 50 years. The law was publicised and disseminated to all Timeshare Resorts. The knowledge of this law became widely known all over Europe and within the Timeshare community.
The law being known to the entire Spanish Timeshare industry, who were required them to amend the many existing contracts and never issue further Timeshare contracts which were incompatible with the new Law. Many would believe that the new law would be considered by Resort owners and the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE). When considered new guidance should have flowed from the trade body, so as to disseminate clear and consistent advice on their members and on how to deal with the issues the new law raised in the Timeshare community.
Meetings ought to have taken place; considerations should have been deliberated on, advice sought and an agreed action implemented. As these were new laws, effective and materially affected the Products being offered. Monumental change should have occurred and did not. Such monumental changes did not occur and many in the Timeshare industry simply ignored the law, preferring a continuance of miss-selling the Timeshare Products, they wanted the consumer to be bound to.
As a result, the actions of some Resorts brought about a discord. That discord became apparent and some Timeshare owners decided to take matters further issuing claims in the Spanish Courts, claiming that the industry largely ignored the law, which resulted in a denial of the rights those Timeshare owners ought to be enjoying.
The confusion was entirely generated from bad and unkempt advice, coming out of the Timeshare industry organisations as the “law is the law” and many Timeshare Resorts chose to repeatedly break it and in preference to their own profits. In breaking the 42/98 law, some Resorts repeatedly received payments for unlawful Timeshare Products and basked in enjoyment which accumulated from profits which flowed from lawbreaking.
By January 2016 the issues had reached the Supreme Court in Madrid. The Court was charged with settling the many cases that were generated by the failure of the Timeshare industry to comply with the Legal Directives.
After 8 sittings the powerful Supreme court ruled that ;
Perpetuity (contracts over 50 years) in Timeshare contracts entered into after the 5th of January 1999 were unlawful and those contracts and entirely voidable
If timeshare owners had paid an advance payment, the contracts again were unlawful.
If the seller had taken a deposit within the “cooling off” period, that seller should pay exemplary damages equal to 100% over and above the deposit taken.
If the contracts were described as “Floating arrangement/type contract were also unlawful.
The timeshare industry expressively knew the law and being aware that many cases were heading to the Supreme court some Resorts began a course of events that would change the many contracts consumers had been sold.
These changes might have been designed to try and avoid the liability, however those adventures will flounder as those theories they had are wrong.
The real situation is that if any consumers paid a deposit, entered into a perpetuity contract, paid in advance or acquired a floating Timeshare contract the Product that was sold is unlawful and therefore deemed voidable.
Dependant of the Resorts attitude to the many claims they are receiving, they may choose to defend the indefensible claims of consumers. In those circumstances it can take some time before a meritorious conclusion is achieved.
Many Resorts have broken the law on many, many occasions and are reacting to that fact by disseminating on the wider Timeshare community scare stories about legitimate Professionals. The purpose is to dissuade consumers from claiming what is rightfully theirs.
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Can prefab homes solve the United Kingdom's and Ireland's housing crisis?
Modular developments in Manchester and Liverpool are energy efficient and built in quick time, but can they spark national interest?
There are a small but growing number of organisations looking to change the way homes are built through the adoption of off-site – also known as modular construction or prefab homes. From businesses to policymakers, there is growing interest in off-site-built housing as a possible solution to the United Kingdom's and Ireland's critical housing shortage.
While time frames are project dependent, off-site-built homes can be produced in about half the time of traditional construction as the house itself can be built in factories while foundations are being laid on site. Developers also cite the reduced requirement for scarce skilled labour, fewer construction accidents and more consistent quality of build compared to traditional construction.
There are also sustainability gains to be made. A report by Systemiq and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights several potential environmental benefits from off-site construction, including more energy efficient homes.
So is now the time for off-site construction to hit the mainstream?
Maybe, production line precision means homes are both “extraordinarily” airtight, which improves their energy efficiency, and highly customisable. But the off-site manufacture of homes and buildings has been the future of construction before – most notoriously in the 1950s and ‘60s.
New Labour’s John Prescott attempted to revive the idea following a review of the construction industry in the late 1990s but it was killed off in the recession, due largely to its comparatively high cost at the time. Its biggest advantage – speed of construction – wasn’t valued by house builders who had no interest in building houses any faster than they could sell them.
For traditional house builders that sell homes on the open market, the one thing they don’t need is speed. While that business model has dominated, off-site has always remained a cottage industry. While there is no reliable data on uptake, the most recent estimate by the National House Building Council suggests less than one in six homes uses off-site technologies.
The expansion of off-site construction is expected to be a key theme in the United Kingdom's government’s long-awaited housing white paper, due to be published soon. The report will draw on last year’s government-commissioned Farmer Review of construction that warned the industry to “modernise or die” and that the rapid retirement rate of the United Kingdom's construction workers meant it had to embrace new building techniques, not least off-site construction.
The housing crisis is about production capacity, and innovation is the most important piece in solving this. Innovation in modular housing – and who’s doing that innovating – will determine the future of the United Kingdom’s and Ireland's built environment sector. With virtual construction software (with which designers draw up precise digital models of buildings) being integrated into automated production line processes.
Whether the United Kingdom's and Ireland's industry will be in time, is still open for debate.
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Advanced Rapid Construction Limited.
Den Lion Associates would like to take this opportunity to welcome Advanced Rapid Construction Limited (ARC) to our portfolio.
Advanced Rapid Construction Limited (ARC) is a Modular Build Homes Company that offer bespoke offsite Rapid Build Construction Solutions.