Last fall, parliament passed a bill that has the potential to revitalize the real estate market and grow the hospitality industry in Jamaica. The Act allows property owners to sell multiple shares in a property with a separate title issued to each owner. This ownership results in a purchaser owning a percentage share in the property of which he/she may dispose of it or use it as a form of collateral like any other real estate asset. The Act is called The Timeshare Vacation Act 2014. What are the provisions of this Act and how might its provisions benefit you? 

How Does it Work?

Unlike other properties for which you pay full price and have outright ownership, Timeshare allows you to pay a percentage price of the property and be granted shares in the property. The number of shares you own determines the degree of access you have to the use of the property. A 1/52 share for example, would allow you to use the property for one week out of every 52 weeks — or a year. This occupancy arrangement of one week out of every year is obviously not suited to your typical residential property. However, it is certainly ideal for properties that are used for vacation accommodation. Properties such as hotels, villas or apartments can work well as Timeshare units. 

Worldwide Marketing Trend

Among the hotels in Jamaica that already offer Timeshare ownership are Beachcomber Club, Bahia Principe, Club Caribbean, Country Country Beach Cottage. Timeshare is one of the fastest growing sectors of the hospitality industry worldwide. With the passage of Jamaica’s new law, you can now build or convert your own apartment, villa, guesthouse or resort into Timeshare Vacation properties and benefit from this growing trend. The advantage is with the method of marketing and booking of your property. Let’s say you own a vacation property. Instead of booking the rooms, villa or resort on a weekly or daily basis to vacationers you can now sell all or some of those units for a one-time fee for specific periods of the year. You collect the proceeds of the sale up front for those periods of occupancy and have nothing more to do with the marketing of that room or villa. The owner pays a maintenance fee separately on a monthly basis.

What you Need to Know

The registration of mortgages, transfer and cancellation of certificate of titles for Timeshare units are the jurisdiction of the Registrar of Titles under the National Land Agency. Real Estate agents and dealers licensed with the Real Estate Board of Jamaica are authorized to sell Timeshare units. Timeshare offers Jamaican property owners yet another avenue to profit from Real Estate through a non-traditional approach to marketing that has a worldwide appeal. Yet, selling or purchasing Timeshare properties is not for everyone. But the passage of the Timeshare Vacation Act of 2014 follows that of many other countries. The provisions in the Act should contribute positively to our Real Estate industry.  The Act affords investors to consider new options, opportunities, risks.

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About the author

Sydney Davis
Sydney Davis - is the Managing Director of Sydney Davis and Associates. He provides personal consultations and investment advice about real estate in Jamaica. .He is a member of the Realtors Association of Jamaica.and he is licensed by the Real Estate Board of Jamaica as a dealer, and property manager.

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