CODE OF ETHICS
78-80 rue Defacqz, 1060 Brussels
Telephone: 00 32 2 533 3060, Facsimile: 00 32 2 533 3061
The Code of Ethics
I GENERAL 2
II APPLICABILITY 3
III DEFINITIONS 4
IV INFORMATION FOR CONSUMERS 7
V ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS BINDING ON MEMBERS UNDERTAKING THE
FOLLOWING TIMESHARE ACTIVITIES 7
1 MARKETING AND SALES 7
2 EXCHANGE PROGRAMMES 8
3 RESALE ACTIVITIES 9
4 POINTS-BASED PROGRAMMES 12
5 CASH BACK 14
6 NEW HOLIDAY PRODUCTS 14
7 MANAGEMENT OF RESORTS 15
8 PROTECTION MECHANISMS FOR TIMESHARE INTERESTS 15
VI ADMINISTRATION OF THE CODE AND SANCTIONS 16
1 COMPLAINTS HANDLING 16
2 SANCTIONS 16
The Arbitration Scheme for the European Timeshare
The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe and its Members are committed to the highest
standards of practice and ethics, and to the principles of fair commercial practices and fair
trading, for the advancement of the industry, the protection of Consumers, and the goodwill of
the general public, and the advancement of the interests of Members of OTE.
To this end, the OTE sets forth this Code of Ethics as it may be amended from time to time in
accordance with the Statutes of OTE and in consultation with regulatory and consumer bodies, to
govern the conduct of its Members. The Code establishes standards of practice, which ensure the
fairness and propriety with which Members conduct their business, and applies to all holiday
concepts offered by OTE Members which fall within the broad definition set out in Section III.
By the acts of applying for and being admitted into membership all Members agree as a
necessary and enforceable condition of membership in the OTE:
A) to comply with the Code;
B) to comply with all applicable laws (which includes those relating to data protection), rules,
regulations and codes of practice imposed by statute, common law or equivalent;
C) to fulfil any relevant registrations and/or licensing requirements in every case in all countries
in which they respectively conduct business, whether in person or through agents;
D) to conduct their respective activities subject to this Code with integrity and propriety and in a
manner that will uphold the credibility, positive reputation and goodwill of the timeshare
holiday industry and the OTE;
E) to ensure compliance with the Code by all its employees, officers and agents (including
individuals or companies acting as independent contractors) who undertake Timeshare
Activities on its behalf, irrespective of the location of such activities and to promptly
terminate their relationship with any individuals or companies in sustained breach of the
F) to respond promptly to any communication from the OTE and in particular (without
limitation) to provide forthwith on written request by any duly authorised representative of
OTE, any information or copies of any documents used in the business of the Member or
relating or relevant to such business or to its membership of the OTE, which such
representative may consider necessary for the purposes of the Code and/or of the OTE
G) to accept as final and binding any ruling of the Membership Council as to the interpretation of
any part of this Code.
1. The Code shall be applicable to all Timeshare Activities in any country and under any legal
system in which Members conduct their business.
2. The provisions of the Code shall apply in all cases except in those jurisdictions where the
relevant law prevents this.
The terms defined in this section shall have the same meaning throughout this Code.
“Average Purchaser” Any natural person acting for purposes which are outside his
trade, business or profession, and who is reasonably well
informed and reasonably observant and circumspect.
“Board” The ultimate governing body of the OTE.
“Cashback Scheme” A cashback scheme is a secondary contract by which one
party contracts on certain conditions to pay or procure the
payment to the other party (the Customer) of all or
substantially all of monies paid by the Customer under a
primary contract to which the cashback contract is ancillary.
“Code” The Code of Ethics of the OTE
“Consumer” The purchaser, owner or potential purchaser of a Timeshare
“Directive” Directive 94/47/EC of the European Parliament and the
Council of Ministers of 26 October 1994.
“Executive Committee” The OTE body which governs the OTE (subject to the
direction of the Board) between meetings of the Board.
“Members” Members of the OTE.
“Membership Council” The body which regulates membership of the OTE and is
responsible for the implementation of the Code, subject to
the direction of the Executive Committee and of the Board.
“New Holiday Products” Timeshare Interests which are not regulated by any current
statutory regulatory provisions relating to Timeshare
Interests in force within the territories of the European
Union Member States.
“OTE” The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe.
“Points” Currency (often also called by other names) in Points-based
Programmes acquired by a Consumer which can be
exchanged for periods of accommodation at timeshare
holiday resorts, which periods are given a currency value.
“Points-based Programmes” Any programme to create and maintain Timeshare Interests
in which the accommodation, the period and/or the term are
to be selected later during the term by a pre-specified
formula involving Points.
“Resale Agencies” A company or individual acting in the course of a business
as agent/broker on behalf of a person or persons not acting in
the course of a business (“the Vendor”) in a resale
“Resale Contracts” The contract between the Resale Agency and the Vendor
wishing to sell his timeshare interest (“the Agency
Contract”) and the contract between the Vendor and the
purchaser (“the Purchaser”) of that timeshare interest (“the
Sales Contract”). In a Resale Transaction, the Resale
Agency may only participate in the transaction and appear in
the Sales Contract as agent of the Vendor and in his place,
and not as principal
“Resale Transaction” A sale of a timeshare interest, subsequent to the original sale
by a developer, brokered by a Resale Agency.
“Resort Development industry” The industry carrying on business under the name of
timeshare, resort development, multi-ownership, periodic or
rotational use, vacation or holiday clubs, holiday points
systems, vacation or holiday ownership or any other name
and in whatever type of accommodation it may be made
“Statutes” The constitution document of the OTE.
“Timeshare Activities” All types of commercial and professional activities and
services connected with the Resort Development industry
and with Timeshare Interests.
“Timeshare Interest” An interest which entitles the owner to use periodically only
and for touristic purposes, accommodation in a specified
immovable or movable or class of immovables or movables
(“the Accommodation”), for a specified period or class of
periods (“the Period”) during a specified term (“the Term”),
and where the initial payment for the interest is significantly
greater than later related periodical payments, including both
Timeshare Interests where the Accommodation, Period and
Term are all pre-specified and schemes where one or more
of these items are to be selected in the future by a pre-
IV INFORMATION FOR CONSUMERS
In the interests of Consumers, the public, and the Members of OTE generally, Members shall
ensure that any Consumer dealing with a Member in respect of a Timeshare Interest is provided
with the following in writing before he or she undertakes any commitment, namely:
Generally, all information which an Average Purchaser would reasonably require for the purpose
of making an informed decision on the material aspects of the proposed transaction, and that such
information is presented in a form and language that the Consumer reasonably can be expected to
understand. In the circumstances of a particular transaction, this general obligation may extend
beyond providing the information set out in the detailed lists in other sections of the Code.
A copy of the OTE Leaflet for Consumers (current version) explaining briefly the OTE standards
to which the Member adheres.
V ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS BINDING ON MEMBERS UNDERTAKING
THE FOLLOWING TIMESHARE ACTIVITIES
1 MARKETING AND SALES
1.1. All marketing methods for any Timeshare Interest, including but not limited to direct
mail, off-premises contacts, promotional vacations and telemarketing must make it clear
to consumers at the time of any contact that a Timeshare Interest is being offered, and, if
applicable, is dependent on attending a sales presentation. Telemarketing or similar direct
contacts must comply with accepted direct marketing good practice in the relevant
jurisdictions. In each case, all limitations and costs must be made clear to the Consumer.
1.2. In addition to any statutory rights Consumers must be given the right to cancel a purchase
of any Timeshare Interest without giving any reason by giving written notice to the
vendor which is received during the period of fifteen calendar days commencing on the
day following that on which he or she is otherwise committed to the transaction Where
permitted by the relevant law, the terms of the purchase and sale contract may provide for
an advance payment to be taken on account of the purchase price but only if it is paid to
and held by a third party such as a bank or recognised trustee as stakeholder throughout
the above cooling off period.
1.3. The terms of the cooling off period, and the arrangements for the protection of any
advance payment with contact details for the third party, must each be set out in full in the
purchase contract in a reasonably prominent manner with contact details of the vendor for
the purpose of giving notice.
1.4. A Timeshare Interest must not be marketed or sold as an investment.
1.5. The purchaser shall be provided before any contract comes into existence with full
information about the role played by the body which holds title to the accommodation in
which subsists the Timeshare Interest which is to be the subject of such contract, (often a
trustee), the body which manages such accommodation and its relevant legal structure
(usually a management company), the body which represents the Consumers as a group
(often called a committee or consultative council) and the body which provides finance to
Where any of the above bodies are neither Members, nor controlled by Members, nor bodies with
whom OTE has agreed standards of fair commercial practices and fair trading, then the Member
shall inform the Consumer in writing of this fact and that such non-Members are not therefore
bound by the provisions of the Code protecting the Consumer (or by agreed standards), before the
conclusion of any contract with the Consumer.
2 EXCHANGE PROGRAMMES
2.1. A third party exchange programme should not be represented as the primary motivation
for the purchase of a Timeshare Interest.
2.2. Consumers shall be provided with clear and accurate written information on any exchange
programme offered in conjunction with the sale of a Timeshare Interest, including the
terms, conditions, fees and methods for making exchanges, and that exchanges have
generally to be “like for like”, and for equivalent quality of accommodation, before he or
she is committed to the sale and purchase transaction.
3 RESALE ACTIVITIES
Members engaged in resale activities shall:
3.1.1 In order to qualify for, and subsequently to retain membership of OTE, establish and
maintain, at their own expense, and free of charge to potential vendors, a justified track
record in achieving sales of timeshare interests on behalf of private vendors.
3.1.2 Not directly or indirectly solicit or take any fee or payment or value for any resale-
related service from any Consumer before a sale is completed,
184.108.40.206 a reasonable charge may be made for work specifically agreed in writing with a
prospective vendor and additional to that involved in establishing and maintaining the
track record referred to above, and
220.127.116.11 subject to compliance with this Code, the Resale Agent may take a deposit on account
of the proposed sale price from the proposed purchaser on behalf of the proposed
OTE reserves the right to require evidence satisfactory to it, of compliance with these
requirements, at the time of application and at other appropriate times.
3.1.3 Include in the written contract for any such additional work referred to above, a
description of the additional work to be undertaken, sufficient to allow the potential
vendor both to form an opinion as to the reasonableness of the cost before being
committed to the contract, and subsequently to verify that the work has been properly
3.1.4 Maintain full and accurate records of all Resale Transactions, including but not limited
to, the actual prices paid and fees charged, marketing, advertising, listing, selling and
3.1.5 Clearly disclose in writing to the vendor and the purchaser, as appropriate, the relevant
and respective obligations and rights of the parties to the resale marketing, sales and
conveyance activities, including but not limited to the Member and the vendor and
purchaser of the Timeshare Interest.
3.1.6 Ensure that any completion money paid by the purchaser in respect of a Resale
Transaction (as well as any advance payment under Section V. 1.3) shall be paid to and
held by a third party such as a bank or recognised trustee as stakeholder until paid out
under the terms of the Resale Transaction documentation.
3.2. AS TO THE CONTRACT OF AGENCY BETWEEN THE MEMBER AND THE
Prior to the parties entering into this contract, Members shall provide the following
written details to a potential vendor, either as part of the agency contract or separately:
3.2.1 Full details of the work which it undertakes to do in relation to the Resale Transaction
including but not limited to advertising, marketing, listing, methods of finding
purchasers and the completion procedure between the vendor and purchaser
3.2.2 Full details of all fees and commission payments to be made by the vendor to the Resale
Agency in respect of the Resale Transaction at any time.
3.2.3 Full details as to whether the Resale Agent is to be permitted by the vendor to use, rent
or in any other manner exploit the timeshare interest in advance of completion of the
Resale Transaction and if so, full details of all fees and commission payments relating
thereto and of the arrangements for distributing or sharing any profits arising from such
3.2.4 Full details as to the arrangements made in compliance with clause 3.1.6 above to
protect the completion money and any advance payment paid by the purchaser in respect
of a Resale Transaction.
3.3. AS TO THE SALES CONTRACT BETWEEN THE VENDOR AND THE
Prior to the parties entering into this contract, Members shall provide the following
written details to a potential purchaser, either as part of the form of contract offered to
both or separately:
3.3.1 Full details of the timeshare interest being sold.
3.3.2 Full details of the method of legal transfer of the timeshare interest, including any
documents to be completed and where necessary notarised or registered or equivalent
and any third party costs involved in such transfer.
3.3.3 Full details of the price to be paid by the purchaser and the method of payment and
details of such payment.
3.3.4 Full details of whether the management fee has been paid up to date and where
reasonably available, details in relation to the annual adjustment of such fee.
3.3.5 Full details of the resort/scheme documentation if reasonably available, including any
rules or constitution and management agreement and resort/scheme main facilities and
conditions of use to be provided. As a minimum there shall be included the length of the
scheme and the nature of the interest being acquired and how this has been protected for
the scheme’s length.
3.3.6 Full details of any restrictions or encumbrances affecting the timeshare interest or the
resort/scheme of which the timeshare interest forms part, including but not limited to
any outstanding loan, which affects or may affect the Resale Transaction.
3.3.7 Full details of any fees payable to third parties on completion of the Resale Transaction,
including but not limited to, trustee registration/transfer fees and/or resort/scheme
developer’s/management company’s registration/transfer fees.
3.3.8 Full details of the purchaser’s first possible occupancy date of the resort/scheme.
3.3.9 Full details of any exchange company’s requirements for enrolment and any restrictions
or limitations placed on the resort/scheme by the exchange company.
3.3.10 Full details of whether a deposit is to be taken if permitted by the applicable law, and if
permitted, the conditions relating to the holding of the deposit and full details as to the
provisions for its release in the event that the Resale Transaction is completed or
repayment in the event that it is not completed.
3.3.11 Full details of the cooling off period applicable under Section V 1.2 and as to the
arrangements made in compliance with clause 3.1.6 above to protect the completion
money and any advance payment paid by the purchaser in respect of a Resale
3.3.12 Full details as to the entity responsible for receiving notification regarding any change in
ownership of the timeshare interest as a result of a Resale Transaction, including where
appropriate the resort/scheme developer or management company, trustee or exchange
4 POINTS-BASED PROGRAMMES
Members who establish or maintain Points-based Programmes must comply with the
4.1. DEMAND BALANCING
4.1.1 There must be a mechanism in place to ensure that the number of Points sold does not
exceed the ability of the programme to meet demands, and that the programme has
committed accommodation available for that purpose.
4.1.2 There must be at all times a prudent positive balance between the accommodation
available to the Points-based programme and the overall demand likely to be made upon
that accommodation, which also ensures that all purchasers have a reasonable
opportunity throughout the life of their interests to enjoy their rights of use as provided
by their purchase contracts.
4.2. VARIATION OF ACCOMMODATION AND POINTS VALUES
Purchase contracts must specify the methods for determining and disclosing the value of
new inventory and for modifying the value of existing inventory from time to time and
must not permit the removal of accommodation unless it is replaced with accommodation
of a similar type (taking into account factors such as standard of accommodation, amenities,
seasonality and demand) or unless the removal is otherwise in the best interests of the
members of the Points-based programme as a whole.
4.3. ACCOMMODATION REPRESENTATIONS
4.3.1 Points-based Programmes must own or control an appropriate and adequate spread of
accommodation to cater for the nature and size of the Programme, and representations
made when marketing to Consumers. OTE expects Points-based Programmes to own or
control a minimum of 50 weeks per resort at a minimum of 5 resorts and that the weeks
comprise a portfolio which is appropriate to cater for the nature and size of the Points-
based Programmes as aforesaid and are balanced in terms of unit size, unit type, spread
of weeks and seasonality.
4.3.2 The promoter/operator of the Points-based Programme must have written permission
from the relevant developer or manager for the inclusion of a resort in promotional or
Prior to the execution of the purchase agreement, and before the purchaser undertakes any
commitment, the purchaser must be provided with documentation which discloses, either by
including a copy of the operative document, or by extracts from this with an adequate reference
to the operative document, or by another adequate description, the:
4.4.1 Nature, legal structure and description of the Points-based programme;
4.4.2 Identity of the developer, promoter, operator, management company and/or trustee (if
4.4.3 Nature and duration of the rights acquired, and the relationship of the individual
purchaser’s interest to the collective interests of all purchasers and to the total interests
(inventory) then under the control of the Points-based programme;
4.4.4 Description, details (including but not limited to details in matrix or summary form of
number of days (by days or by weeks or by their current points equivalent) available by
resort, season, and unit type) and extent of accommodation and the amenities available,
differentiating between accommodation that is available for the lifetime of the Points-
based programme and accommodation that is available for lesser periods;
4.4.5 Rights of the Points-based programme to such accommodation and the amenities and
4.4.6 The number of Points required to utilise all types of accommodation during the year;
4.4.7 Any restriction on the rights of the Points-based programme or its members to use such
4.4.8 Mechanisms for adjustments to accommodation and Points values;
4.4.9 Details of any ongoing fees (including maintenance/management fees and reservation
4.4.10 Any repossession rights that the Points-based programme may have in the event of non-
4.4.11 Details of any external exchange facility available;
4.4.12 Arrangements for inventory protection and security differentiating and describing the
difference between inventory secured for life of the scheme and inventory not so
secured, if applicable;
4.4.13 Basis upon which accommodation may be added to or deleted from the Points-based
programme or substituted for other accommodation, which must be fair to the interests
of existing members;
4.4.14 Basis upon which the Points values of accommodation available to the Points-based
programme can be adjusted, which must be fair to the interests of existing members; and
4.4.15 Complete and accurate description of the terms and conditions related to the reservation
or allocation of accommodation each year.
5 CASH BACK
Members shall ensure that no purchaser of a Timeshare Interest is offered (directly or
indirectly) any form of Cashback Scheme.
6 NEW HOLIDAY PRODUCTS
6.1. New Holiday Products must be created, developed marketed, sold and operated with
commercial good sense and in a manner which cannot reasonably give rise to legitimate
criticism as being an attempt to evade any requirements of any and all the relevant legal
jurisdictions or of this Code.
6.2. The price of the product must be economically balanced in relation to long-term
6.3. The products are not sold in a manner to be confused with mainstream Timeshare
7 MANAGEMENT OF RESORTS
Members engaged in the management of resorts must comply with the following principles:
7.1. The developer of a timeshare project must establish a mechanism ensuring its proper
long-term maintenance and management.
7.2. Increases in annual fees should be set at levels which reflect the costs of current and
future requirements at the resort in accordance with procedures set out in the
documentation governing the scheme.
7.3. An adequate reserve or sinking fund or other mechanism should be established to protect
against foreseeable future costs.
7.4. The management should have the right to propose special levies or charges to cover one-
off projects and unforeseeable circumstances at the resort.
OTE encourages the inclusion of external assessments and audits of the maintenance and
8 PROTECTION MECHANISMS FOR TIMESHARE INTERESTS
8.1. Every Timeshare Interest must have a protection mechanism (for example a trust
structure) to ensure that accommodation offered has been obtained and secured in such a
way that it will continue to be available for use for the time period represented to
purchasers or potential purchasers.
8.2. In the case of floating time or floating apartments or Points-based Programmes there must
8.2.1 An efficient and effective reservation system capable of managing the accommodation
within any such system and servicing its members.
8.2.2 Adequate safeguards to ensure the continued availability of the reservation system for
the duration of the Timeshare Interest and to provide or procure an adequate alternative
in the event of replacement being required.
VI ADMINISTRATION OF THE CODE AND SANCTIONS
1 COMPLAINTS HANDLING
1.1. If a dispute arises between a Member and a Consumer in relation to the Member’s
timeshare activities, the Secretariat of OTE shall upon being informed act promptly to
resolve the dispute in a manner acceptable to both parties. If it is unable to achieve such a
result within a reasonable time, the Consumer may by notice in writing given to the
Secretariat elect that the dispute be resolved in accordance with the procedure of the
alternative dispute resolution scheme chosen by OTE.
1.2. Any failure by a Member to comply with the above procedures upon request, or with any
final determination made within them, will be considered to be a breach of paragraph I C
of the Code.
2.1. SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION FROM MEMBERSHIP
2.1.1 The Executive Committee may at any time and in its sole discretion after consultation
with the Membership Council reprimand, suspend or expel from membership any
Member which in its judgement has violated the Statutes, codes or rules of the
Association or who has engaged in conduct detrimental to the best interests of the
Association or who has refused or wilfully neglected to comply with any order or
decision of the Board or recommendation of the Membership Council.
2.1.2 Any Member so disciplined may appeal such sanction in writing to the Board within 10
days of notification by the Executive Committee and the Board shall decide such appeal
at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The membership of such Member may be
suspended by the Executive Committee in its sole discretion during the period pending
such appeal. The decision of the Board on appeal shall be final. Any termination shall
cancel all rights, interests and privileges in the assets, services and resources of the
2.2.1 In the event that the Executive Committee determines that the failure to comply with the
Code does not merit expulsion or suspension, it may reprimand the Member concerned
and such reprimand shall lay on the record for a period of three years and shall be taken
into account by the Executive Committee in deciding upon the imposition of any further
sanction, in the event of any other failure to comply by the Member during that period.
2.2.2 Concurrent with the imposition of any sanction, the Executive Committee may also
publish details of the sanction, including an explanation of the business conduct
involved and the name of the Member or individuals concerned.
THE RULES OF THE ARBITRATION SCHEME FOR
THE EUROPEAN TIMESHARE INDUSTRY
THE ORGANISATION FOR TIMESHARE IN EUROPE
Rules (2005 Edition)
To apply to disputes arising on or after 1st March 2005
1. Definitions.......................................................................................................................................................... 20
2. Disputes which can be accepted for arbitration under the Scheme ............................................................. 21
3. Disputes which cannot be accepted for arbitration under the Scheme........................................................ 21
4. Limits on any Award in respect of disputes accepted for arbitration.......................................................... 22
5. Time limits in respect of applications to submit a dispute for arbitration under the Scheme................... 22
6. How to apply for a dispute to be submitted to arbitration............................................................................ 22
7. Respondent’s challenge to an application to submit a dispute to arbitration ............................................. 23
8. The procedure in the arbitration..................................................................................................................... 24
9. Provisions with regard to the arbitrator......................................................................................................... 26
10. Multiple parties and multiple claims........................................................................................................... 27
11. Action following the arbitrator’s award ..................................................................................................... 27
12. Irrecoverability of costs of an application, and conditional refund of prescribed fees .......................... 28
13. Confidentiality............................................................................................................................................... 28
14. The law and language of the arbitration..................................................................................................... 28
“Award” A formal reasoned decision in writing of the Arbitrator in respect
of the substance, or part of the substance, of a dispute which is
“Statement of Claim” The statement by the Claimant of his case, which includes the
application for arbitration. This must be on the prescribed form
with the appropriate number of copies of each supporting
document or other evidence attached (see Rule 6.7).
“Claimant” The person making the Statement of Claim.
“Directions” A formal written order of the Arbitrator in relation to a procedural
aspect of the arbitration.
“Expenditure” The aggregate of:
(a) the cash paid by a Claimant under the Timeshare
Agreement in respect of a Timeshare purchased;
(b) the assigned value of any Timeshare transferred to the
Respondent by the Claimant under the Timeshare
(c) the amount of any interest (up to a limit of 10% per
annum of the total price payable under the Timeshare
Agreement) payable on any loan taken out to purchase
“Institute” The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
“OTE” The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe.
“OTE Code of Ethics” The Code of Ethics of OTE.
“OTE Member” A Member of OTE
“Respondent” The OTE Member against whom a claim is made.
“Rules” These Rules.
“Scheme” The arbitration scheme established by these Rules.
“Timeshare” A holiday ownership product whether described as timeshare or
“Timeshare Agreement” A contract made between the Respondent (an OTE Member)
and the Claimant for the purchase of a Timeshare.
2. Disputes which can be accepted for arbitration under the Scheme
2.1. This Scheme has been developed by the Institute to resolve disputes between an OTE
Member and a Claimant in relation to claims for compensation arising from a breach of a
Timeshare Agreement or from a breach of the OTE Code of Ethics taking place in the
making or performance of a Timeshare Agreement. Under the OTE Code of Ethics the
Respondent, by virtue of being an OTE Member at the time the Timeshare Agreement is
made, has agreed to participate appropriately in the arbitration and to honour any award
made in the arbitration in accordance with its terms.
2.2. A dispute may only be referred to arbitration under the Scheme where the Claimant has:
(a) Entered [after 1st March 2005] in to a Timeshare Agreement with an OTE
(b) Completed the OTE Member’s internal complaints procedure and a settlement
has failed to be reached within sixty days from the date of the commencement by
the Claimant of the OTE Member’s internal complaints procedure, and
(c) Referred the matter to OTE for conciliation, and a settlement has failed to be
reached within a period of one hundred and twenty days from the date of the
commencement by the Claimant of the OTE Member’s internal complaints
2.3. Exceptionally, where the parties and OTE and the Institute agree, a dispute which
otherwise does not fall within this Rule, but which it is considered could usefully be the
subject of arbitration, may be the subject of arbitration under the Scheme.
3. Disputes which cannot be accepted for arbitration under the Scheme
3.1. An application cannot be made to submit a dispute to arbitration under the Scheme in
(a) Disputes where one or either of the parties has already initiated legal action,
unless that legal action is first permanently terminated by agreement or by the
court, or stayed for the purpose of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
(b) A Timeshare Agreement entered into in the course of any business activity of the
(c) Timeshare loans or any other dispute within the remit of the UK Financial
Ombudsman Scheme or other European Ombudsman Schemes.
(d) Death, personal injury, illness or other non-pecuniary loss.
(e) Disputes arising from or relating to:
(i) any breach of the management agreement relating to the Timeshare
which is the subject of the Timeshare Agreement, claimed to be
committed by the parties to such management agreement, or
(ii) any breach by the other party to an agreement to provide to the Claimant
an exchange service ancillary to such Timeshare.
(f) Claims amounting to less than 500€.
(g) Frivolous and / or vexatious claims. If the OTE Member considers that a Claim is
frivolous and / or vexatious, they may challenge the validity of the Claim by
following the procedure set out in Rule 7.
(h) Claims relating to a former OTE Member, unless arising under a Timeshare
Agreement made prior to the cessation of membership.
4. Limits on any Award in respect of disputes accepted for arbitration
4.1. No award under the Scheme can exceed the actual loss suffered by the Claimant as
proven to the satisfaction of the Arbitrator.
4.2. Where the total amount claimed in the Statement of Claim exceeds the Expenditure the
amount of any award under the Rules will be limited to the Expenditure.
4.3. Any claims arising from the same Timeshare Agreement irrespective of the time of claim
will be consolidated and the limits in 4.2 above will apply to the consolidated sum
4.4. Where the price to be paid under a Timeshare Agreement is partly discharged by the
transfer by the Claimant of an existing Timeshare to the Respondent or to its order at a
value there assigned to such existing Timeshare, the Respondent may satisfy any
Award made against it to repay the assigned value (or part of that value) of that
Timeshare by transferring to the Claimant a reasonably comparable Timeshare in good
4.5. An award cannot be made for an amount of more than the amount claimed in the
Statement of Claim.
5. Time limits in respect of applications to submit a dispute for arbitration under
5.1. The Institute must receive the Statement of Claim within 90 days of the failure of the
OTE’s conciliation procedure (whether under Rule 2.2 (c) or otherwise) or within 365
days of the date on which the Timeshare Agreement was entered into, which ever shall
be the later date.
5.2. On the failure of the parties to settle following OTE conciliation, or at the expiry of the
period referred to in Rule 2.2(c) whichever shall first happen, OTE will inform the
Claimant of their right to go to arbitration under the Rules, or to seek redress otherwise.
6. How to apply for a dispute to be submitted to arbitration
6.1. Application must be made on the prescribed form of claim and within the time limits
prescribed in Rule 5.1, and be accompanied by the prescribed fee and be sent to the
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators at The International Arbitration & Mediation Centre, 12
Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2LP, England.
6.2. All Statements of Claim must be made in writing in the language of the Timeshare
Agreement or in English at the option of the Claimant. Where video evidence is
submitted any commentary must be in the language of the Timeshare Agreement or in
English. If it is claimed that the breach relates to the language of the Timeshare
Agreement, the Arbitrator shall direct the language to be used in the Arbitration.
6.3. The Statement of Claim shall include:
(a) A description of the claim made;
(b) All evidence that is available to support the claim, including, but not exclusively,
complaints lodged prior to or during the purchase, or photographs, video evidence,
credit card chits for any disbursements which are claimed; and
(c) A copy of the relevant Timeshare Agreement.
6.4. The Claimant must certify in the Statement of Claim that every reasonable effort has
been made to resolve the dispute through the Respondent’s internal complaints
procedure and through the OTE Conciliation procedure.
6.5. If the Claimant is unable to submit the Timeshare Agreement, the Respondent shall
submit a copy of the Timeshare Agreement with the Defence if it is still under his control.
6.6. The prescribed forms referred to in these Rules and a list of the fees currently
prescribed is obtainable by post from OTE or the Institute.
6.7. Where there is only one Claimant and one Respondent, all documentation must be
submitted in duplicate. Where there is more than one Claimant or Respondent, then an
extra copy of all documentation must be provided for each additional party. This Rule
applies equally to any video evidence.
6.8. The arbitration procedure commences when the Claimant has signed and submitted to
the Institute a fully completed Statement of Claim and the prescribed fee.
7. Respondent’s challenge to an application to submit a dispute to arbitration
7.1. On receipt of a Statement of Claim under Rule 8.1 the Respondent may challenge it on
the grounds that it is frivolous or vexatious or otherwise not within the rules. In the event
of such a challenge, the Respondent may request the early appointment of the Arbitrator
to decide on the validity of the Statement of Claim as a preliminary issue.
7.2. In support of their request, the Respondent must within 14 days from the date of receipt
of the Statement of Claim by the Respondent submit no more than two pages of A4
setting out their reasons why they feel the Statement of Claim is invalid accompanied by
payment of the prescribed fee. Failure to provide such submission and payment will
result in the challenge being disallowed. Otherwise, the Claimant will have the
opportunity to submit two page of A4 setting out their reasons why the Statement of
Claim falls within the scope of the Rules.
7.3. At the time of appointing an Arbitrator to consider such a challenge the Institute will
establish any other time limits to be complied with by the parties.
7.4. If the Arbitrator decides that the application for arbitration is invalid, or frivolous or
vexatious, the parties will be free to pursue the claim elsewhere, but not under the Rules
of the Scheme.
7.5. A decision made by the Arbitrator to allow the application to proceed to arbitration does
not, under any circumstances, indicate that the application will be successful.
7.6. If the matter proceeds to arbitration, the Arbitrator appointed to make the preliminary
ruling will also be appointed as the Arbitrator who will make the Final Award if available.
8. The procedure in the arbitration
8.1. Upon receipt of the Statement of Claim from the Claimant, the Institute will forward the
documentation to the Respondent, stating that the Respondent must within 14 days of
the date of receipt institute a challenge under Rule 7, or within 21 days of the date of
receipt either settle the claim with the Claimant or to submit to the Institute a Defence to
Statement of Claim, accompanied by payment of the prescribed fee, and an undertaking
to the Claimant in the prescribed form to honour any award made in the arbitration in
accordance with its terms. If the Respondent institutes a challenge, the period of 21
days shall commence on the date of the Arbitrators decision to allow the application to
proceed to arbitration.
8.2. If a settlement is made within the 21-day period referred to in Rule 8.1, the Claimant and
the Respondent must notify OTE and the Institute in writing (including email) that a full
and final settlement has been reached and that the arbitration should be withdrawn.
8.3. The Defence to Claim should be in writing on the prescribed form, and forwarded by
email or post, and shall include:
(a) A copy of the signed Timeshare Agreement, if not provided by the Claimant,
(b) Any other evidence which is considered relevant.
(c) Details of those matters in the Claimant’s documents which are accepted or
(d) Details of those matters which are disputed, with reasons why.
(e) Any supporting documents relied on as evidence.
8.4. If a Respondent does not submit its Defence to Claim with the prescribed fee within the
time allowed and does not send one within 14 days of a reminder by the Institute, and
subject to the Institute’s general discretion to refuse to make an appointment, a single
Arbitrator will be appointed by the President or a Vice-President of the Institute Subject
to any Directions given by the Arbitrator, which may include the submission of the
overdue Defence within a specified time period, the dispute will be decided by reference
only to the documents submitted by the Claimant.
8.5. On receipt of the Respondent’s Defence to Claim and subject to the Institute’s general
discretion to refuse to make an appointment, a single Arbitrator will be appointed by the
President or a Vice-President of the Institute.
8.6. The arbitration procedure shall be on documents only. If in the opinion of the Arbitrator, it
is necessary to hear oral evidence for any purpose, then the Arbitrator shall refuse to
proceed with the arbitration leaving the Parties to resolve the dispute otherwise. In such
circumstances, all monies paid by the Claimant under these Rules shall be returned to
the Claimant by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
8.7. Upon receipt of the Respondent’s Defence to Claim, the Institute will also forward a copy
of it to the Claimant, who then has 21 days from date of receipt to submit, if they choose
to do so, Comments on the Defence. The Comments on the Defence must not include
any new claims, but shall simply reply to the Defence to Claim submitted.
8.8. Comments on the Defence should be submitted on the prescribed form, and include:
(a) Details of those matters in the Defence to Claim which are accepted or agreed.
(b) Details of those matters which are disputed, with reasons why.
(c) Any further supporting documents relied on as evidence.
8.9. The Institute will send a copy of the Claimant’s Comments on the Defence to the
Respondent, but the Respondent is not permitted to make any further comment without
the express approval of the Arbitrator.
8.10. Arbitrators may request the provision of any further documents, information or
submissions that they consider would assist them in their decision. If these are not sent
to the Arbitrator within the time prescribed, the Arbitrator will proceed on the basis only
of the documents already before him.
8.11. Any documents submitted by the Parties other than those referred to in the Statement of
Claim, the Defence to Claim or Comments on the Defence will not be admissible as of
right but at the Arbitrator’s sole discretion. Where a Party submits such documents, the
Arbitrator will decide whether or not they are admissible. Where the documents are held
to be admissible, the other Party will be sent copies and be entitled to comment on them
before an award is made.
8.12. The Arbitrator may, in his/her absolute discretion, accept or refuse to consider
documents that are not submitted within timescales set down by these Rules.
8.13. In his award, the Arbitrator shall expressly set out the extent to which (if at all) the
Timeshare Agreement remains in force following his award.
8.14. If, in the Arbitrator’s opinion (which shall be final), the dispute is not capable of proper
resolution under these Rules, the Arbitrator’s appointment shall be revoked.
8.15. Awards made under the Scheme shall be final and binding on the Parties.
8.16. Subject to the right of either Party to request the Institute to draw the Arbitrator’s
attention to any accidental slip or omission which he / she has power to correct by law,
neither the Institute nor the Arbitrator can enter into correspondence regarding an Award
made under the Scheme.
8.17. Neither the Institute nor the Arbitrator shall be liable to any Party for any act or omission
in connection with any arbitration conducted under these Rules, save that the Arbitrator
(but not the Institute) shall be liable for any wrongdoing on his/her own part arising from
8.18. Any date of receipt referred to within the Rules shall be taken as being two working days
after the despatch by First Class post (or the nearest equivalent in the country of
posting) of the relevant letter or documents to the receiving party or parties. Where,
however, a public holiday or other event beyond the control of the sender has delayed
receipt then providing the party has notified the Institute of the delay and the reason for
it, the Institute or the Arbitrator may allow an appropriate extension of the period for the
submission of documents. This extension does not affect the rights of the parties to
request an extension of the periods referred to in Rules 8.1 and 8.7. The same Rule
applies to electronic communications.
9. Provisions with regard to the arbitrator
9.1. All appointments are within the Institute’s exclusive and unfettered control.
9.2. The Institute reserves the right to appoint a substitute Arbitrator if the Arbitrator originally
appointed dies, is incapacitated or is for any reason unable to deal expeditiously with the
dispute. The Parties shall be notified of any substitution.
9.3. Any Arbitrator appointed shall be, and remain at all times during the arbitration, impartial
and independent of the Parties and of OTE, and shall decide the case in accordance
with the relevant law. The Arbitrators selected for appointment are members of the
Institute, and have experience of the Timeshare Industry.
9.4. Any Arbitrator should also act reasonably expeditiously, and in a way that provides a fair
means for resolving the dispute.
9.5. Where the Arbitrator considers that a Statement of Claim made on behalf of the
Claimant and others should be the subject of two or more separate arbitrations, he may
in his absolute discretion refuse to deal with multiple claims in the single reference.
9.6. When deciding on liability and amount of award, the Arbitrator must not take into
account any offers of settlement that have been made by either Party, subject to Rule
9.7. The Arbitrator shall have full jurisdiction to consider whether any Statement of Claim
made falls within his/her powers to determine.
9.8. The Arbitrator shall direct the procedure of the arbitration and may make Directions
including the amendment of time limits and other procedural matters and have the power
(a) Allow submission of further written evidence and the amendment of the
Statement of Claim or Defence to Claim.
(b) Order the Parties to produce goods, documents or property for inspection.
(c) Conduct such enquiries as may be desirable.
(d) Receive and take into account any relevant written evidence.
(e) Proceed with the arbitration if either Party fails to comply with these Rules or with
9.10. In considering the Parties’ cases, the Arbitrator shall give effect to OTE’s Code of Ethics
in force at the date of making the Timeshare Agreement. In the event of a conflict
between a rule of law and a provision of the Code, the interpretation most favourable to
the Claimant shall prevail.
10. Multiple parties and multiple claims
10.1. These Rules are designed primarily for arbitrations between two Parties, that is to say,
between a Claimant and a Respondent, and cannot be used for multiple parties unless
the Arbitrator agrees. If the Respondent wishes to bring another party (being an OTE
Member) into the arbitration the Respondent shall make a reasoned written request to
that effect to the Arbitrator, to the person they desire to be brought in (at the same time
providing them with a copy of the documentation so far lodged with the Arbitrator), and
provide a copy of the request to the Claimant and to the OTE Secretariat.
10.2. If, the Arbitrator after considering such request and any submission by the person
desired to be brought in, directs that the request shall be granted, references in these
Rules to one party shall then include multiple Respondents where appropriate.
10.3. In the case of five or more Statements of Claim by different Claimants against the same
Respondent within a period of less than eighteen months, each based on what the
Respondent claims to be substantially the same breach but arising from different
Timeshare Agreements, the Respondent shall have the right to apply to the Arbitrator to
direct whether or not such claims (so far as not yet the subject of an Award) and any
future such claims should in the interests of justice be dealt with by a court which has
the power to order that they should be dealt with as a class action.
10.4. If the Arbitrator directs that such claims should be dealt with by such a court, the
Respondent may withdraw from such claims and any further arbitration involving
substantially the same breach, leaving the Claimants in respect of whom no award has
been made, to their other remedies.
11. Action following the arbitrator’s award
10.5. Any payment ordered by an award must be made within 21 days of the date of dispatch
of the award by the Institute. Unless the award directs otherwise, payment of a sum
awarded must be made directly between the Parties and not through the Arbitrator, the
Institute or OTE. Enforcement is the responsibility personally of the Claimant or the
Respondent, as the case may be, and neither the Institute nor OTE is able to assist. Any
queries concerning enforcement should in the first instance be addressed to OTE.
10.6. Original documents will be returned to the Parties after six weeks have elapsed from the
date of the award if requested by the Parties within this time, and otherwise will be
destroyed. A self-addressed envelope of suitable size and appropriate prepaid postage
must accompany any such request.
12. Irrecoverability of costs of an application, and conditional refund of
12.1. Subject to the provisions of Rule 12.2, no award shall include any element of recovery of
costs incurred during the arbitration, and no legal proceedings may be brought by one
Party against the other for the recovery of costs incurred during the arbitration, and each
Party shall bear all its own costs of preparing and submitting its case (including legal
12.2. The Arbitrator shall include in any award to be made in favour of a Claimant, the amount
of the prescribed fee which has been paid by the Claimant, save in the case that the
Respondent has made an offer to the Claimant of a sum in excess of the amount of the
award (excluding such fee) and such offer was made prior to the commencement of the
arbitration and was refused by the Claimant.
13.1. No party involved in any arbitration under the Rules, or OTE, the Institute or the
Arbitrator, shall disclose any details of the proceedings, Award, and reasons for the
Award to any stranger to the proceedings unless it is necessary to do so in order to
enforce the Award.
13.2. Notwithstanding Rule 13.1 above, all parties, in agreeing to the resolution of disputes
under these Rules, give permission to the Institute and to the OTE Secretariat to receive
copies of all documents produced to the Arbitrator gather, retain and publish statistical
and other information on such disputes whilst preserving the anonymity of individuals.
14. The law and language of the arbitration
14.1. The law to apply shall be the governing law of the Timeshare Agreement.
14.2. The language of the arbitration shall be the language of the Timeshare Agreement or
English at the option of the Claimant.
THE FEES FOR THE ARBITRATION SCHEME FOR
THE EUROPEAN TIMESHARE INDUSTRY
THE ORGANISATION FOR TIMESHARE IN EUROPE
PRESCRIBED FEES (2005 Edition)
To apply to disputes arising on or after 1st March 2005
Amount Claimed £1-£5,000 £5,001-£15,000 £15,001-£25,000 Over £25,000
Costs (inc. VAT)
Consumer Pays: £75.00 £100.00 £150.00 £300.00
Member Pays: £245.00 £300.00 £350.00 £500.00
Total £320.00 £400.00 £450.00 £800.00
Challenge Fee* £150.00 £150.00 £150.00 £150.00
*for challenges to a Claim under Rule 7 of the Rules (2005 Edition) the Member pays the fee set
out above; if the challenge is unsuccessful the Member in addition will pay the prescribed fee as
shown above at the time of submitting its Defence.
THE ARBITRATION SCHEME FOR THE EUROPEAN
THE ORGANISATION FOR TIMESHARE IN EUROPE
Guidance notes (2005 Edition)
PART I WHAT IS ARBITRATION, AND HOW CAN IT SETTLE DISPUTES?
SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON ARBITRATION GENERALLY 33
PART II NOTES FOR CLAIMANTS ON THE ARBITRATION SCHEME FOR THE
EUROPEAN TIMESHARE INDUSTRY (THE SCHEME) 36
1. Using the Arbitration Scheme for the European Timeshare Industry 36
2. Money matters under the Scheme 37
3. The arbitration procedure 38
4. The Arbitration Documents 39
5. Evidence 43
6. Settling a claim once the arbitration has started 43
PART III NOTES FOR RESPONDENTS ON THE ARBITRATION SCHEME FOR THE
EUROPEAN TIMESHARE INDUSTRY (THE SCHEME) 45
A. The commitment to the arbitration 45
B. Points you should consider particularly 45
C. The Arbitrator’s approach 45
D. The arbitration documents 46
E. General 47
What is arbitration, and how can it settle disputes?
some questions and answers on arbitration generally
Included here are some questions and answers about basic arbitration procedure
generally, for your information and assistance. The details of the procedure used for
the Arbitration Scheme for the European Timeshare Industry (the Scheme) are set
out in Part II and Part III below.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a private process by which an independent person, called an arbitrator,
resolves a dispute by making a legally binding decision (the award). Arbitration is a
long established and effective method of resolving disputes and is a legal alternative
to resolving your dispute through the courts.
When using arbitration, you must be aware that, as in a court case, you may win your
case, partially win your case or lose your case. Remember that whether successful or
unsuccessful you and the Respondent remain legally obliged to comply with the
arbitrator’s final decision, subject to any appeal made by either of the parties.
What is an Arbitrator?
An arbitrator will decide your case on the basis of the evidence you submit. His / her
role is similar to a judge and he / she will make a legally binding award about your
case as fairly and neutrally as possible. Arbitrators cannot help parties to make their
case; they can only determine the outcome as justly and speedily as they are able.
The arbitrators used in this Scheme are members of the Chartered Institute of
Arbitrators (the Institute) and are all qualified and experienced in arbitration.
Who are the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators?
The Institute is the world’s largest body of arbitrators and other professionals
engaging in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), with over 10,500 members in 90
What is a Claimant?
The person making the claim against the Respondent is known as the Claimant.
What is a Respondent?
The company against whom you are making a claim is known as the Respondent.
Respondents have the right to defend themselves against the claims you are making.
What is an Arbitrator’s Award?
The award is the judgement that the arbitrator makes in the case. The award is
binding on the parties and enforceable in the courts. A copy of the award is sent to
the parties at the end of the case, and will be sent to the OTE to ensure that their
members are behaving properly. The award contains two parts - the decision and the
reasons for the decision. The decision contains the legally binding orders for the
parties and the reasons contain the details of the case and the arbitrator’s
Can the Arbitrator or Institute advise me on my case?
The arbitrator and the Institute are impartial and cannot act as a consultant or adviser
to either party. They can only advise you on procedural matters.
If necessary, advice should be sought from a solicitor, a Citizens Advice Bureau, a
law centre or a neighbourhood advice centre.
How does the Arbitrator decide the case?
The arbitrator decides the case purely on the arguments and evidence presented by
the parties. The parties must prove their cases on the balance of probability to the
satisfaction of the arbitrator.
What are the advantages of Arbitration over a court case?
In general, arbitration is cheaper and reaches a conclusion more quickly than a court
case, but still provides a structured and independent review of the facts and the
applicable law relating to the dispute, together with a reasoned decision on the merits
of the dispute between the parties.
If my Claim is unsuccessful what can I do next?
If you lose your case there is only one route for challenge against the arbitrator’s
award. You can appeal through the relevant appeal procedures in your home
country, which will include seeking leave to appeal within a specified timescale.
Deadlines for appeal are strictly enforced and if you do not act within the deadline
you will lose the right of Appeal. If no Appeal is initiated through the relevant Court
the award will remain legally binding on the parties.
The Respondent is of course equally entitled to appeal if it loses.
Remember: The mere fact that you may not like an award made against you (or even
in your favour but not for the total amount claimed) does not mean that the award is
wrong in law.
Notes for claimants on the Arbitration Scheme for the European
Timeshare Industry (the Scheme)
1. Using the Arbitration Scheme for the European Timeshare Industry
Welcome to the Arbitration Scheme for the European Timeshare Industry.
The Scheme is administered by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (the Institute)
The Institute is an independent organisation which, amongst other things,
independently administers arbitration schemes. The Institute has no links with either
the timeshare companies or the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE) who
sponsor the Scheme, other than providing an independent arbitration scheme for
OTE and their members.
These guidance notes are written to give guidance on the process of arbitration
under the Scheme to both the Claimant and the Respondent. There are further notes
relating specifically to the Respondent’s position below.
Where can I find the details of the Scheme?
The details of the Scheme, including the procedures to be followed, are set out in the
Rules of the Scheme, which you need to read carefully before making an application.
What does the Scheme cover?
The Scheme broadly covers disputes arising under an agreement to purchase a
timeshare, where the agreement was entered into after 1st March 2005. The complete
and authoritative statement is set out in Rule 2.
What is not currently covered under the OTE Scheme?
Claims for less than Euros 500, any timeshare loans, or matters outside the
agreement to purchase a timeshare are not covered under the Scheme. The
authoritative list is set out in Rule 3, read in conjunction with the Definitions contained
in Rule 1.
Furthermore, the Scheme is not designed to deal with claims arising from personal
injury or illness.
2. Money matters under the Scheme
How much compensation can I claim ?
You cannot make a claim for less than 500 euros or in general for more than the
amount you have paid for the timeshare. The authoritative statement is set out in
Rule 4, read in conjunction with the Definitions contained in Rule 1.
If my case is unsuccessful will I have to pay the costs of the Respondent?
If you fail in your claim you will not be able to recover the registration fee you paid.
You will not be liable for any other costs incurred by the Respondent.
How much will arbitration cost to go through?
A registration fee is applicable. You can see the scale of costs on the schedule of
fees on the prescribed form of Statement of Claim and application to appoint an
If your claim is successful, your registration fee is returnable with any award made in
your favour by the arbitrator (see Rule 12.2) However, if you have rejected an offer to
settle the case before arbitration begins, and the eventual award is less than the
offer, then the registration fee is not returnable.
The parties are responsible for the cost of making their case – that includes postage,
stationary, photocopying and legal representation if used.
If my case is successful how will the claimed money be sent to me?
The Respondent will send to you direct the money that they owe you. Payment is
normally due within 21 days from the date the award is issued unless otherwise
specified in the award. However, if the Respondent appeals, payment will normally
not be due until the appeal is resolved.
3. The arbitration procedure
How do I begin the arbitration?
You should first ensure that you thoroughly read the Rules of the Scheme and these
Guidance Notes. The Rules govern the procedure of the Scheme and the Guidance
Notes will give you general advice about the Scheme.
You must then thoroughly read the prescribed form of Statement of Claim and
complete it fully. Note that by signing this form you are agreeing to submit the
dispute to arbitration and to be bound by the Rules and failure to comply with
them may affect the outcome of your claim or even invalidate it. See below
under “Arbitration Documents” for further guidance on completing this form.
As a current member of the OTE, the Respondent is equally committed to the
arbitration and bound by the Rules
Is there a hearing?
There is no formal oral hearing; the procedure is based on documents only.
Do I need legal representation?
No, not necessarily. The Scheme was set up expressly to allow the parties to present
their cases without the need for legal representation. Timeshare companies often
have in-house legal staff or may employ solicitors to help them. However, arbitrators
do not expect you to have legal representation, but you may choose to have it.
However, if you are represented by a lawyer or other professional adviser, you
should communicate with the Institute, or the Arbitrator, only through your adviser.
Direct communication may cause unnecessary work and thus delay.
How is the case conducted?
The case is conducted by means of a procedure based on documents only. The
arbitrator makes an award based on the documents and evidence submitted by the
parties in dispute. It is in the interests of each party to state its case clearly and
produce all relevant supporting documents. See also the further details under
“Arbitration Documents” below.
How long will the arbitration procedure take?
The procedure should normally take no longer than 12 weeks from the date that the
application for arbitration is received to the publication of the award. It can take a lot
less than this depending upon the parties and how quick they are to submit
documentation. It may also take longer, but only in circumstances where the
arbitrator requires further information and allows the parties a suitable amount of time
to provide that information.
4. The Arbitration Documents
1 Note again that, the application form included in the prescribed form of
Statement of Claim constitutes a binding agreement to go to arbitration. Once
signed and forwarded to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, you are
committed to proceeding in accordance with the Rules of the Scheme. Make
sure that all information required by the prescribed form is provided, along
with the relevant registration fee. Failure to do so will delay the arbitration
getting under way.
2 You must not delete the section of the application form for arbitration which
states that you agree to be bound by the arbitrator's award. To do so will
invalidate the application.
3 The arbitrator will normally only deal with the matters referred to and / or the
amounts claimed in the application form. Make sure that all claims have been
covered in the application form.
4 All correspondence and other documents you may send after the Statement
of Claim must quote the Institute’s case reference and the name of the case.
The Institute will provide these to you when they acknowledge receipt of the
Statement of Claim.
The Statement of Claim form must be completed and received by the Institute within
90 days of the failure of the OTE conciliation procedure, or within 365 days of the
date on which the Timeshare Agreement was entered in to, whichever shall be the
latter. See Rule 5.
Preparation of the Statement of Claim and the documents supporting your claim
It is in your interests to prepare all these documents so that they set out your case as
clearly as possible, and in a neat and readily legible form. You should therefore
(a) That all documents are produced in a simple and presentable form. It is not
essential that case documents are typed but, if they are hand-written, they
should be written clearly or printed. Photocopied documents must be legible.
(b) That your Statement of Claim is supported by copies of all relevant
documents, e.g. booking forms, brochures, orders, invoices, statements,
contracts, quotations, conditions of engagement, photographs,
correspondence, witness statements, certificates, drawings, specifications
(c) That your Statement of Claim and the supporting evidence are submitted in
duplicate or triplicate and, where applicable, arranged in a chronological
sequence with all pages numbered.
(d) The Statement of Claim and supporting documents must be submitted
together and not piecemeal at different times.
You should keep a copy of all documents submitted for possible future reference.
You may need to refer to them if the arbitrator asks questions.
The Statement of Claim
What is the Statement of Claim?
This is the prescribed form on which you set out your complaint against the
Respondent, apply for the appointment of an arbitrator, and try to prove to the
arbitrator that you are entitled to win your case and be awarded compensation. You
must ensure that all the documents, letters, videos or photos that support your claim
and that you wish the arbitrator to view are sent in with the Schedule. You will not
have the opportunity to submit further evidence at a later stage.
Remember that the arbitrator depends on you to provide him with a clear explanation
of your case, and with your supporting evidence. Once he has this, the arbitrator
assesses the evidence and analyses the terms of the contract which have been
agreed to by you and the timeshare company when the timeshare agreement was
made. The arbitrator specifically looks for a proven breach of this contract.
However, neither the arbitrator nor the Institute are investigators. Thus, if you have
witnesses to support your case, you must obtain their statements and submit them. It
will not be acceptable for you to send a list of witnesses and ask the arbitrator to
contact them. It is not sufficient for you merely to say that you have evidence. You
must produce it.
The arbitrator will, of course, try to help the parties resolve their dispute in any way
possible but he / she is restricted to consideration of the documents and evidence
submitted. In your own interests, you must therefore make every point and
submit all supporting evidence that you consider relevant. You must also
retrieve and submit any documents sent previously to any other body and upon
which you intend to rely.
What details of the dispute need to be given?
Your Statement of Claim should set out in chronological order the events which have
led to the Claim and refer to each supporting document in respect of each allegation.
The information needed in the Statement of Claim should include references to:
(a) The relevant parts of the contract (i.e. the Timeshare Agreement referred to in
(b) What was promised and what was received;
(c) Relevant dates;
(d) The names of persons concerned (e.g. Respondent's, employees or agents);
(e) The amount(s) claimed, clearly and precisely quantified, and with your
explanation of why you think it is justified; and
(f) The remedies sought, whether compensation or specific action.
You should avoid merely sending a bundle of all documents in your possession and
calling this bundle 'the claim'.
You should avoid 'dressing up' or exaggerating claims to add weight. Allegations that
are not supported by evidence will not assist your case and may in fact damage it.
It is not enough for you to show that your dealings with the timeshare company led to
disappointment. You must show that there was a breach of some term of the
contract, express or implied, and that, where appropriate, you took steps to reduce
your loss. Allegations must therefore be set out precisely.
A challenge under Rule 7
If the Respondent feels that the claim is not validly made under the Rules, they may
request a preliminary review to decide on this. See Rule 7 for further information.
The Comments on the Defence
What are the Comments on Defence and what should I include in my
After viewing the Respondent’s Defence, the Comments on Defence enable you to
put forward any comments on the points contained in the Defence. You cannot
submit new evidence or points of claim at this stage. The Institute cannot issue
extensions of time for the submission of Comments and the arbitrator will only allow
such extensions if a valid reason is put forward.
How do I provide evidence if there is no hearing at which any witnesses can appear?
You should ask your witnesses to produce a written statement setting out the facts
which are within their knowledge, and which support your case. This should be
signed by them, and dated with the date on which it is signed.
Can I put forward video evidence?
Yes. Videos and photographs are acceptable. Video evidence should be on standard
VHS format, and where videos or photographs are being submitted two or three sets
should be sent, depending on how many respondents are included in the arbitration.
Videos and photographs should be clearly labelled with your name, the name of the
Respondent and a case reference if available.
6. Settling a claim once the arbitration has started
What if I decide to settle the case during the Arbitration?
Either party has a right to enter into settlement negotiations at any time before the
arbitrator makes an award. Negotiations are private discussions between the parties
and you should correspond directly with the other party and not through the Institute.
Both parties, however, must notify successful settlements to the Institute, in order
that the arbitration can be terminated. Registration fees are non-refundable in the
event of settlement, so they should be taken in to account as part of the negotiated
Can I refuse the offer of settlement?
Yes – the timeshare company has the right to offer you settlement monies and you
have the right to accept or to refuse such offers.
When offers of settlement are made, you should consider the following:
Settlement offers are not viewed by the arbitrator as an admission of guilt or
as a delaying tactic.
If you refuse an offer made to you by the Respondent prior to the
commencement of the arbitration, and then in the arbitration the arbitrator
awards you an amount equal to, or less than, the amount previously offered
by the Respondent, you will not be able to reclaim your registration fee (see
Rule 12.2). This is because it was unnecessary for you to resort to arbitration
as a reasonable offer had been made.
If you accept money in ‘full and final settlement’ of any dispute before or
during the arbitration, the arbitration may be deemed void, as you are
agreeing to settle the dispute privately.
Notes for respondents on the Arbitration Scheme for the European
Timeshare Industry (the Scheme)
A. The commitment to the arbitration
1. Please note that the effect of a Complainant signing and lodging a Statement
of Claim with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is that, under the OTE
Code of Ethics, you are automatically committed to a binding agreement to
arbitration. Thereafter, you are committed to proceeding in accordance with
the Rules of the Scheme, and if you fail to do so, an award may be made
against you by default, and on the basis of the documents submitted by
the Claimant alone.
B. Points you should consider particularly
1. If you as Respondent feel that the claim is not valid under the Rules, you may
challenge the claim by requesting a preliminary review; see Rule 7.
2. If you believe that the claimant has exceeded the financial limits of this
Scheme, you must either say so in your Defence, or (if appropriate) challenge
the Claim under Rule 7, so that the matter may be dealt with by the arbitrator.
It is no use objecting afterwards because your silence will have been treated
3. It is essential that you deal fully with each and every allegation made in the
Statement of Claim. If you do not challenge valid evidence put forward by the
claimant, the arbitrator will usually treat an allegation supported by that
evidence as proved.
C. The Arbitrator’s approach
1. Remember that the arbitrator decides the case purely on the arguments and
evidence presented by the parties. The parties must prove their cases on the
balance of probability to the satisfaction of the arbitrator.
2. The arbitrator will try to help the parties resolve their dispute in any way
possible but he / she is restricted to consideration of the documents and
evidence submitted. You must therefore make every point and submit all
supporting evidence that you consider relevant. You must also retrieve and
submit any documents sent previously to any other body and upon which you
intend to rely.
3. Neither the arbitrator nor the Institute are investigators. Thus, if you have
witnesses to support your case, you must obtain their statements and submit
them. It will not be acceptable for you to send a list of witnesses and tell the
arbitrator to contact them. It is not sufficient for you merely to say that you
have evidence. You must produce it.
4. Neither an arbitrator nor the Institute may advise a party as to the merits of its
case or assist a party in presenting its case. If necessary, advice should be
sought from a solicitor or other legal representative.
5. The Rules of this Scheme are intended to allow the parties to present their
cases without the need for legal representation.
D. The arbitration documents
1. So far as presentation of documents is concerned, please ensure:
(a) That all documents are produced in a simple and presentable form. It is
not essential that case documents are typed but, if they are hand-written,
they should be written clearly or printed. Photocopied documents must be
(b) That the Defence and other documents are supported by copies of all
relevant documents, e.g. booking forms, brochures, orders, invoices,
statements, contracts, quotations, conditions of engagement,
photographs, correspondence, witness statements, certificates, drawings,
specifications and calculations.
(c) That the Defence and supporting documents are submitted in duplicate or
triplicate and, where applicable, arranged in a chronological sequence
with all pages numbered.
(d) That jargon or abbreviations used in case statements are explained in
(e) The Defence and supporting documents must be submitted together and
not piecemeal at different time.
2. The Defence must be submitted within the time limited allotted. Failure to
comply with this may result in the arbitration proceeding ex parte. Under the
Rules of the Scheme you are entitled to a 14 day reminder for the submission
of the Defence. If you need further time over and above what is given by the
Rules, you must seek the claimant’s consent or request a further extension
from the arbitrator, through correspondence with the Institute. The arbitrator
may refuse a further extension.
3. You do not have an automatic right to reply to the claimant’s Comments on
your Defence. However, you may submit a reply to those comments and the
arbitrator will decide whether they should be admitted as evidence. If you wish
to reply to the claimant's Comments, you must telephone the Institute and
follow this up in writing immediately.
4. All correspondence and case statements must quote the Institute’s case
reference and the name of the case.
5. You should keep a copy of all documents submitted for possible future
reference. You may need to refer to them if the arbitrator asks questions.
1. You should correspond directly with the other party for settlement purposes
and not through the Institute. In arbitration the parties may require the
arbitrator to issue an agreed award incorporating their terms of settlement
because this makes enforcement easier. Settlements must be notified to the
Institute in writing by both Parties. Registration fees are not refundable in the
event of settlement, as they should be accounted for as part of the negotiated
2. The mere fact that you may not like an award made against you (or even in
your favour but not to the extent to which you would have liked) does not
mean that the award is wrong in law.
Statement of Claim
and application for appointment of an arbitrator under
THE ARBITRATION SCHEME FOR THE EUROPEAN TIMESHARE INDUSTRY
THE ORGANISATION FOR TIMESHARE IN EUROPE
(To apply to applications for arbitration on Timeshare Agreements made on or after
1 March 2005)
A. Please read the scheme Rules (the Rules) and the Guidance Notes carefully before you
fill in and return this form. There is detailed information in the Guidance Notes in Part II,
under “4. The Arbitration Documents” to assist you in completing the form.
NB: Rules 2 and 3 explain which disputes can and cannot be referred to arbitration at
present, Rule 4 sets out the limits of any Award, Rule 5 describes the time limits, and
Rule 6 sets out the main points relating to applying for a dispute to be submitted to
B. Please remember that you cannot use the scheme unless:
(1) you have entered into a timeshare purchase agreement (“a Timeshare Agreement”)
with an OTE member, and the complaint arises out of or in relation to this
(2) you have been through both the OTE member’s own complaints procedure and the
OTE’s conciliation procedure and reached a point where the dispute cannot be
C. Fill in this form in BLOCK CAPITALS using black ink.
1 Your details
Give your details below.
Your full name:
Daytime phone number: Mobile:
Fax: E-mail address:
2 OTE Member’s Details
Please give the Member’s details below.
Phone number: Fax:
3A Dispute details
In the space below, tell us what you have complained to the Member about. Please start by
giving the date of the Timeshare Agreement and the specific details of your dispute with the
Date of the Timeshare Agreement:
Date and details of any other documents on which you rely and of which you are
sending copies with this form:
Date you first complained:
Details of the dispute: what was promised and what was received.
Include the dates of any meetings or discussions on which you rely, the place where
they took place and the names of others present. (See Guidance Notes Part II, under
4. The Arbitration Documents – Preparation of the Statement of Claim”.)
(Continue on a separate sheet marked “Further details of dispute” if necessary.)
If you have any witnesses whose statements you wish to be considered in support of your
Claim, please add their details here, and send their signed statement(s) with this form.
Witness’s full name:
Daytime phone number: Mobile:
Fax: E-mail address:
Nature of Relationship with you, or position in the Respondent’ company:
(Continue on a separate sheet marked” “Further Witnesses” if necessary.)
Please list here the documentary or photographic evidence which you consider supports
your claim and send the original with the application form (see Guidance Notes: The
Preparation of the Statement of Claim: “The documents supporting your claim”).
(Continue on a separate sheet headed “Further documentary evidence” if necessary.)
3C What do you want the Member to do?
(Tick all the boxes that apply.)
Give you an apology Give you an explanation
Give you a product or service Please specify
(e.g. a free week)
Pay you compensation How much? £
You cannot claim for compensation for less than Euros 500 or more than the total amount of
expenditure as defined in Rule 1 of the scheme Rules. You cannot change the amount at a later
date. If the arbitrator decides in your favour, he or she could award any amount of compensation up
to this figure.
Take other action Please specify
(Please read the statements below, and satisfy yourself they are correct, before signing and
submitting this form.)
I have read and understood the Rules of the Arbitration Scheme for the European
This Statement of Claim sets out the nature and details of my claim against the
Respondent, and is accompanied by all the documentary and other evidence which I
wish to submit. I understand that I cannot add to this later, except in special
circumstances and with the Arbitrator’s consent (see Rule 8.11).
I hereby apply to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators to appoint an arbitrator to resolve
the dispute between myself and the Respondent, in accordance with the Rules of the
Arbitration Scheme for the European Timeshare Industry.
I have tried unsuccessfully to settle this matter through the Member’s own complaints
procedure and the OTE’s conciliation procedure, and we have not been able to settle my
I have not previously referred this dispute to an alternative sector trade body, or to the
I understand that any arbitrator’s award will be binding on me and the Member, and that
if I am unsuccessful I will not be refunded my registration fee (see Rule 12.2).
I send with this Statement of Claim and application for the appointment of an arbitrator,
the following original items, with a copy of each*:
1. The Timeshare Agreement into which I entered with the OTE Member.
2. The signed witness statements referred to above.
3. The documentary and/or photographic evidence referred to above.
4. A cheque (made payable to The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) for the sum
of £_______ in respect of my registration fee.
Date: / /
Note 1. Alternatively, payment can be made by Switch, Visa or Mastercard by
completing the attached form.
Note 2. The Claimant’s registration fee is in accordance with the following scale, and
is non-refundable by the Institute. The Institute will obtain a cheque in respect
of the Respondent’s fee.
Amount £1-£5,000 £5,001-£15,000 £15,001- Over £25,000
Costs (inc. VAT)
£75.00 £100.00 £150.00 £300.00
* If there is more than one Claimant or Respondent, you need to provide an extra
copy for each additional party (see Rule 6.7). In any event, you are recommended
to retain a copy of all items submitted.
Now send this form and the supporting documentation and cheque or
credit card debit authority to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators as per
the scheme Rules, at The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 12
Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2LP.
NB: Should you have not received a confirmation from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
of receipt within 21 days from postage, please contact them.
Application to pay by credit card or switch card to use the
Arbitration Scheme for the European Timeshare Industry
(To apply to applications for arbitration on a Timeshare Agreement made on or after
01 February 2005)
Payment by MasterCard / Visa / Switch
Please complete the following details and return to the above address:
I wish to pay by MasterCard / Visa / Switch Card no:
Switch Card only – Card issue no:
Card start date_____/_____/_____ Card expiry date_____/_____/_____
Address of cardholder:
Daytime telephone no:
Details of payment including reference number, if applicable:___________________
NB: Please note that the payment will be taken by the Chartered Institute of
Arbitrators upon receipt of the Statement of Claim from you.
Registered Charity No: 803725
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE JUST BOUGHT A HOLIDAY PRODUCT
FROM A MEMBER OF THE ORGANISATION FOR TIMESHARE IN EUROPE
Over 6 million families already enjoy timeshare holidays year-after-year at more than 5 thousand
resorts in over 90 countries – from large leisure complexes to quiet country cottages in almost
every imaginable tourist destination.
Independent studies show that timeshare owners are satisfied or very satisfied with their
What OTE means to you
The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe is the official European trade association for
timeshare companies in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
OTE Members include timeshare resorts, exchange companies, trustee companies,
management companies, finance providers and resale companies.
OTE Members represent the best in European timeshare and are committed to high
service standards and integrity. They are bound by the OTE Code of Conduct and are
“To conduct their respective activities subject to this Code with integrity
and propriety and in a manner that will uphold the credibility, positive
reputation and goodwill of the timeshare holiday industry and the OTE.”
OTE cooperates with European and national governments and with consumer
associations across Europe to ensure that the interests of timeshare companies and of
timeshare owners are safeguarded.
The OTE Code of Conduct offers greater safeguards than the law demands
The Code establishes standards of practice, which ensure the fairness and propriety with which
Member companies conduct their business, and applies to all holiday products offered by OTE
Members, including products marketed as timeshare, vacation ownership, holiday ownership,
points clubs, fractionals and similar.
For more information on OTE and the OTE Code of Conduct,
please consult our website.
Organisation for Timeshare in Europe AISBL
Rue Defacqz 78-80, 1060 Brussels
Tel (Consumers): 00 32 (0) 2533 30 69 Fax: 00 32 (0) 2533 3061
Website: www.ote-info.com E-mail: email@example.com
What should I expect when buying from an OTE Member
The contracts of OTE Members shall always be clear and comply with national Law and the EU
Timeshare Directive and provide you with full protection.
The printed agreement or contract will include all your rights and obligations. OTE Members
must ensure that buyers receive in writing and in their own language all information which a
prudent purchaser would reasonably require to make up his mind.
A full description
You will receive a full description (sometimes called a Disclosure Statement) of the product,
resort and any services provided, which forms part of the contract you are signing.
The contract should show your legal rights and obligations, including details of the Management
Company and annual fees for the maintenance and management of the holiday product.
In addition to the main contract you sign, you must also be given additional documentation for
any services related to your purchase, such as for example exchange services.
European law requires that a purchaser has the protection of a minimum 10-day reflection (or
cooling-off period). However OTE Members offer consumers a 15 day reflection or cooling-off
period, commencing on the day after signing the contract.
Safer legal structures
In some European countries, the law imposes no requirements to use a safe legal structure.
However, wherever they operate, OTE members are required to structure their products in such a
manner to ensure that the timeshare holidays are available for the length of time promised to you.
You must (if provided) receive clear and accurate information on any exchange programme
offered in conjunction with the sale of the product, including the terms, conditions, fees and
methods for making exchanges.
In some European countries, the law imposes no requirements as to standards of management.
However, wherever they operate, OTE members are required to have established mechanisms to
ensure the proper long-term maintenance and management of the holiday product, resort or club.
If nevertheless you have a problem of some kind
In the unlikely event that a problem arises, and there is a dispute between a consumer and one of
OTE’s Members in relation to the Members’ activities, OTE will attempt to resolve the dispute in
a manner acceptable to both parties. If OTE is unable to achieve such a result within a reasonable
time, the consumer may choose that the dispute be resolved in accordance with the procedure of
the ADR scheme chosen by OTE. Sustained failure by a Member to comply with the above
procedures, or with any final determination made, could lead to a Member’s expulsion from OTE.