This chapter may be cited as the Vacation Ownership and Time-share Act of 2004.
(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 697, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2005. Section operative July 1, 2005, pursuant to Section 11288.)
The purposes of this chapter are to do all of the following:
(a) Provide full and fair disclosure to the purchasers and prospective purchasers of time-share plans.
(b) Require certain time-share plans offered for sale or created and existing in this state to be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(c) Recognize that the tourism industry in this state is a vital part of the state’s economy; that the sale, promotion, and use of time-share plans is an emerging, distinct segment of the tourism industry; that this segment of the tourism industry continues to grow, both in volume of sales and in complexity and variety of product structures; and that a uniform and consistent method of regulation is necessary in order to safeguard California’s tourism industry and the state’s economic well-being.
(d) In order to protect the quality of California time-share plans and the consumers who purchase them, it is the intent of the Legislature that this chapter be interpreted broadly in order to encompass all forms of time-share plans with a duration of at least three years that are created with respect to accommodations that are located in the state or that are offered for sale in the state, including, but not limited to, condominiums, cooperatives, vacation clubs, and multisite vacation plans.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature that this chapter not be interpreted to preempt the application of, the enforcement of, or alter the standards of, the general consumer protection laws of this state set forth in Sections 17200 to 17209, inclusive, and Sections 17500 to 17539.1, inclusive, of the Business and Professions Code.
(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 697, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2005. Section operative July 1, 2005, pursuant to Section 11288.)
(a) This chapter applies to all of the following:
(1) Time-share plans with an accommodation or component site in this state.
(2) Time-share plans without an accommodation or component site in this state, if those time-share plans are sold or offered to be sold to any individual located within this state.
(3) Exchange programs as defined in this chapter.
(4) Short-term products as defined in this chapter.
(b) This chapter does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Time-share plans, whether or not an accommodation is located in this state, consisting of 10 or fewer time-share interests. Use of an exchange program by owners of time-share interests to secure access to other accommodations shall not affect this exemption.
(2) Time-share plans, whether or not an accommodation is located in this state, the use of which extends over any period of three years or less.
(3) Time-share plans, whether or not an accommodation is located in this state, under which the prospective purchaser’s total financial obligation will be equal to or less than three thousand dollars ($3,000) during the entire term of the time-share plan.
(c) For purposes of determining the term of a time-share plan, the period of any renewal or renewal option shall be included.
(d) Single site time-share plans located outside the state and component sites of multisite time-share plans located outside the state, that are offered for sale or sold in this state are subject only to Sections 11210 to 11219, inclusive, Sections 11225 to 11246, inclusive, Sections 11250 to 11256, inclusive, paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subdivision (a), and subdivisions (b) and (c), of Section 11265, subdivision (g) of Section 11266, subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 11267, Sections 11272 and 11273, subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of Section 11274, and Sections 11280 to 11287, inclusive.
(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 429, Sec. 1. Effective September 22, 2006. Operative January 1, 2007, by Sec. 12 of Ch. 429.)
(a) Any time-share plan registered pursuant to this chapter to which the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (Part 5 (commencing with Section 4000) of Division 4 of the Civil Code) might otherwise apply is exempt from that act, except for Sections 4090, 4177, 4178, 4215, 4220, 4230, 4260 to 4275, inclusive, 4500 to 4510, inclusive, 4625 to 4650, inclusive, 4775 to 4790, inclusive, 4900 to 4950, inclusive, 5500 to 5560, inclusive, and 5975 of the Civil Code.
(b) (1) To the extent that a single site time-share plan or component site of a multisite time-share plan located in the state is structured as a condominium or other common interest development, and there is any inconsistency between the applicable provisions of this chapter and the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, the applicable provisions of this chapter shall control.
(2) To the extent that a time-share plan is part of a mixed use project where the time-share plan comprises a portion of a condominium or other common interest development, the applicable provisions of this chapter shall apply to that portion of the project uniquely comprising the time-share plan, and the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act shall apply to the project as a whole.
(c) (1) The offering of any time-share plan, exchange program, incidental benefit, or short term product in this state that is subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be exempt from Sections 1689.5 to 1689.14, inclusive, of the Civil Code (Home Solicitation Sales), Sections 1689.20 to 1689.24, inclusive, of the Civil Code (Seminar Sales), and Sections 1812.100 to 1812.129, inclusive, of the Civil Code (Contracts for Discount Buying Services).
(2) A developer or exchange company that, in connection with a time-share sales presentation or offer to arrange an exchange, offers a purchaser the opportunity to utilize the services of an affiliate, subsidiary, or third-party entity in connection with wholesale or retail air or sea transportation, shall not, in and of itself, cause the developer or exchange company to be considered a seller of travel subject to Sections 17550 to 17550.34, inclusive, of the Business and Professions Code, so long as the entity that actually provides or arranges the air or sea transportation is registered as a seller of travel with the California Attorney General’s office or is otherwise exempt under those sections.
(d) To the extent certain sections in this chapter require information and disclosure that by their terms only apply to real property time-share plans, those requirements shall not apply to personal property time-share plans.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 181, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2013. Operative January 1, 2014, by Sec. 86 of Ch. 181.)
As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Accommodation” means any apartment, condominium or cooperative unit, cabin, lodge, hotel or motel room, or other private or commercial structure containing toilet facilities therein that is designed and available, pursuant to applicable law, for use and occupancy as a residence by one or more individuals, or any unit or berth on a commercial passenger ship, which is included in the offering of a time-share plan.
(b) “Advertisement” means any written, oral, or electronic communication that is directed to or targeted to persons within the state or such a communication made from this state or relating to a time-share plan located in this state and contains a promotion, inducement, or offer to sell a time-share plan, including, but not limited to, brochures, pamphlets, radio and television scripts, electronic media, telephone and direct mail solicitations, and other means of promotion.
(c) “Association” means the organized body consisting of the purchasers of time-share interests in a time-share plan.
(d) “Assessment” means the share of funds required for the payment of common expenses which is assessed from time to time against each purchaser by the managing entity.
(e) “Commissioner” means the Real Estate Commissioner.
(f) “Component site” means a specific geographic location where accommodations that are part of a multisite time-share plan are located. Separate phases of a time-share property in a specific geographic location and under common management shall not be deemed a component site.
(g) “Conspicuous type” means either of the following:
(1) Type in upper and lower case letters two point sizes larger than the nearest nonconspicuous type, exclusive of headings, on the page on which it appears but in at least 10-point type.
(2) Conspicuous type may be utilized in contracts for purchase or public permits only where required by law or as authorized by the commissioner.
(h) “Department” means the Department of Real Estate.
(i) “Developer” means and includes any person who creates a time-share plan or is in the business of selling time-share interests, other than those employees or agents of the developer who sell time-share interests on the developer’s behalf, or employs agents to do the same, or any person who succeeds to the interest of a developer by sale, lease, assignment, mortgage, or other transfer, but the term includes only those persons who offer time-share interests for disposition in the ordinary course of business.
(j) “Dispose” or “disposition” means a voluntary transfer or assignment of any legal or equitable interest in a time-share plan, other than the transfer, assignment, or release of a security interest.
(k) “Exchange company” means any person owning or operating, or both owning and operating, an exchange program.
(l) “Exchange program” means any method, arrangement, or procedure for the voluntary exchange of time-share interests or other property interests. The term does not include the assignment of the right to use and occupy accommodations to owners of time-share interests within a single site time-share plan. Any method, arrangement, or procedure that otherwise meets this definition in which the purchaser’s total contractual financial obligation exceeds three thousand dollars ($3,000) per any individual, recurring time-share period, shall be regulated as a time-share plan in accordance with this chapter. For purposes of determining the purchaser’s total contractual financial obligation, amounts to be paid as a result of renewals and options to renew shall be included in the term except for the following: (1) amounts to be paid as a result of any optional renewal that a purchaser, in his or her sole discretion may elect to exercise, (2) amounts to be paid as a result of any automatic renewal in which the purchaser has a right to terminate during the renewal period at any time and receive a pro rata refund for the remaining unexpired renewal term, or (3) amounts to be paid as a result of an automatic renewal in which the purchaser receives a written notice no less than 30 nor more than 90 days prior to the date of renewal informing the purchaser of the right to terminate prior to the date of renewal. Notwithstanding these exceptions, if the contractual financial obligation exceeds three thousand dollars ($3,000) for any three-year period of any renewal term, amounts to be paid as a result of that renewal shall be included in determining the purchaser’s total contractual financial obligation.
(m) “Incidental benefit” is an accommodation, product, service, discount, or other benefit, other than an exchange program, that is offered to a prospective purchaser of a time-share interest prior to the end of the rescission period set forth in Section 11238, the continuing availability of which for the use and enjoyment of owners of time-share interests in the time-share plan is limited to a term of not more than three years, subject to renewal or extension. The term shall not include an offer of the use of the accommodation, product, service, discount, or other benefit on a free or discounted one-time basis.
(n) “Managing entity” means the person who undertakes the duties, responsibilities, and obligations of the management of a time-share plan.
(o) “Offer” means any inducement, solicitation, or other attempt, whether by marketing, advertisement, oral or written presentation, or any other means, to encourage a person to acquire a time-share interest in a time-share plan, other than as security for an obligation.
(p) “Person” means a natural person, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, association, estate, trust, government, governmental subdivision or agency, or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.
(q) “Promotion” means a plan or device, including one involving the possibility of a prospective purchaser receiving a vacation, discount vacation, gift, or prize, used by a developer, or an agent, independent contractor, or employee of any of the same on behalf of the developer, in connection with the offering and sale of time-share interests in a time-share plan.
(r) “Public report” means a preliminary public report, conditional public report, final public report, or other such disclosure document authorized for use in connection with the offering of time-share interests pursuant to this chapter.
(s) “Purchaser” means any person, other than a developer, who by means of a voluntary transfer for consideration acquires a legal or equitable interest in a time-share plan other than as security for an obligation.
(t) “Purchase contract” means a document pursuant to which a developer becomes legally obligated to sell, and a purchaser becomes legally obligated to buy, a time-share interest.
(u) “Reservation system” means the method, arrangement, or procedure by which a purchaser, in order to reserve the use or occupancy of any accommodation of a multisite time-share plan for one or more time-share periods, is required to compete with other purchasers in the same multisite time-share plan, regardless of whether the reservation system is operated and maintained by the multisite time-share plan managing entity, an exchange company, or any other person. If a purchaser is required to use an exchange program as the purchaser’s principal means of obtaining the right to use and occupy accommodations in a multisite time-share plan, that arrangement shall be deemed a reservation system. When an exchange company utilizes a mechanism for the exchange of use of time-share periods among members of an exchange program, that utilization is not a reservation system of a multisite time-share plan.
(v) “Short-term product” means the right to use accommodations on a one-time or recurring basis for a period or periods not to exceed 30 days per stay and for a term of three years or less, and that includes an agreement that all or a portion of the consideration paid by a person for the short-term product will be applied to or credited against the price of a future purchase of a time-share interest or that the cost of a future purchase of a time-share interest will be fixed or locked-in at a specified price.
(w) “Time-share instrument” means one or more documents, by whatever name denominated, creating or governing the operation of a time-share plan and includes the declaration dedicating accommodations to the time-share plan.
(x) “Time-share interest” means and includes either of the following:
(1) A “time-share estate,” which is the right to occupy a time-share property, coupled with a freehold estate or an estate for years with a future interest in a time-share property or a specified portion thereof.
(2) A “time-share use,” which is the right to occupy a time-share property, which right is neither coupled with a freehold interest, nor coupled with an estate for years with a future interest, in a time-share property.
(y) “Time-share period” means the period or periods of time when the purchaser of a time-share plan is afforded the opportunity to use the accommodations of a time-share plan.
(z) “Time-share plan” means any arrangement, plan, scheme, or similar device, other than an exchange program, whether by membership agreement, sale, lease, deed, license, right to use agreement, or by any other means, whereby a purchaser, in exchange for consideration, receives ownership rights in or the right to use accommodations for a period of time less than a full year during any given year, on a recurring basis for more than one year, but not necessarily for consecutive years. A time-share plan may be either of the following:
(1) A “single site time-share plan,” which is the right to use accommodations at a single time-share property.
(2) A “multisite time-share plan,” which includes either of the following:
(A) A “specific time-share interest,” which is the right to use accommodations at a specific time-share property, together with use rights in accommodations at one or more other component sites created by or acquired through the time-share plan’s reservation system.
(B) A “nonspecific time-share interest,” which is the right to use accommodations at more than one component site created by or acquired through the time-share plan’s reservation system, but including no specific right to use any particular accommodations.
(aa) “Time-share property” means one or more accommodations subject to the same time-share instrument, together with any other property or rights to property appurtenant to those accommodations.
(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 697, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2005. Section operative July 1, 2005, pursuant to Section 11288.)
Each time-share estate, as specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (x) of Section 11212, constitutes, for purposes of title, a separate estate or interest in real property including ownership in real property for tax purposes.
(a) The developer shall supervise, manage, and control all aspects of the offering of the time-share plan by or on behalf of the developer, including, but not limited to, promotion, advertising, contracting, and closing. The developer is responsible for each time-share plan registered with the commissioner and for the actions of any sales or marketing entity utilized by the developer in the offering or selling of any registered time-share plan.
(b) Any violation of this chapter that occurs during the offering activities shall be deemed to be a violation by the developer as well as by the person who actually committed the violation.
(a) The time-share instrument shall prohibit a person from seeking or obtaining, through any legal procedures, judicial partition of the time-share interest or sale of the time-share interest, in lieu of partition and shall subordinate all rights that a time-share interest owner might otherwise have as a tenant-in-common in real property to the terms of the time-share instrument.
(b) Subdivision (a) shall not be deemed to prohibit a sale of an accommodation upon termination of the time-share plan or the removal of an accommodation from the time-share plan in accordance with applicable provisions of the time-share instrument.
(a) An exchange program is not a part of a time-share plan offering and, except as provided in this section and Section 11238, shall not be subject to either this chapter or the regulations of the commissioner adopted pursuant to this chapter.
(b) If a developer offers a purchaser the opportunity to subscribe to or to become a member of an exchange program, the developer shall provide to the purchaser in writing all of the information set forth in paragraphs (1) to (17), inclusive. If the exchange company is offering directly to the purchaser the opportunity to subscribe to or become a member of an exchange company, the exchange company shall provide to the purchaser in writing all of the information set forth in paragraphs (1) to (17), inclusive. In either case, the written information shall be provided prior to or concurrently with the execution of any contract or subscription for membership in the exchange program.
(1) The name and address of the exchange company.
(2) The names of all officers, directors, and shareholders of the exchange company.
(3) Whether the exchange company or any of its officers or directors have any legal or beneficial interest in any developer or managing entity for any time-share plan participating in the exchange program and, if so, the identity of the time-share plan and the nature of the interest.
(4) A copy of the form of the contract between the purchaser and the exchange company, along with a statement that the purchaser’s contract with the exchange company is a contract separate and distinct from the purchaser’s contract with the seller of time-share interests.
(5) Whether the purchaser’s participation in the exchange program is dependent upon the continued affiliation of the applicable time-share plan with the exchange program.
(6) Whether the purchaser’s participation in the exchange program is voluntary.
(7) A fair and accurate description of the terms and conditions of the purchaser’s contractual relationship with the exchange program and the procedure by which changes thereto may be made.
(8) A fair and accurate description of the procedures necessary to qualify for and effectuate exchanges.
(9) A fair and accurate description of all limitations, restrictions, and priorities employed in the operation of the exchange program, including, but not limited to, limitations on exchanges based on seasonality, accommodation size, or levels of occupancy, expressed in conspicuous type. If those limitations, restrictions, or priorities are not uniformly applied by the exchange company, the information shall include a clear description of the manner in which they are applied.
(10) Whether exchanges are arranged on a space available basis and whether any guarantees of fulfillment of specific requests for exchanges are made by the exchange company.
(11) Whether and under what circumstances an owner, in dealing with the exchange program, may lose the right to use and occupy an accommodation of the time-share plan during a reserved use period with respect to any properly applied for exchange without being provided with substitute accommodations by the exchange program.
(12) The fees or range of fees for participation by owners in the exchange program, a statement of whether any such fees may be altered by the exchange company and the circumstances under which alterations may be made.
(13) The name and address of the site of each accommodation included within a time-share plan participating in the exchange program.
(14) The number of accommodations in each time-share plan that are available for occupancy and that qualify for participation in the exchange program, expressed within the following numerical groups: 1–5; 6–10; 11–20; 21–50; and 51 and over.
(15) The number of currently enrolled owners for each time-share plan participating in the exchange program, expressed within the following numerical groups: 1–100; 101–249; 250–499; 500–999; and 1,000 and over; and a statement of the criteria used to determine those owners who are currently enrolled with the exchange program.
(16) The disposition made by the exchange company of use periods deposited with the exchange program by owners enrolled in the exchange program and not used by the exchange company in effecting exchanges.
(17) The following information for the preceding calendar year, which shall be independently audited by a certified public accountant in accordance with the standards of the Accounting Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and reported annually no later than August 1 of each year:
(A) The number of owners currently enrolled in the exchange program.
(B) The number of time-share plans that have current affiliation agreements with the exchange program.
(C) The percentage of confirmed exchanges, which is the number of exchanges confirmed by the exchange program divided by the number of exchanges properly applied for, together with a complete and accurate statement of the criteria used to determine whether an exchange request was properly applied for.
(D) The number of use periods for which the exchange program has an outstanding obligation to provide an exchange to an owner who relinquished a use period during a particular year in exchange for a use period in any future year.
(E) The number of exchanges confirmed by the exchange program during the year.
(F) A statement in conspicuous type to the effect that the percentage described in subparagraph (C) is a summary of the exchange requests entered with the exchange program in the period reported and that the percentage does not indicate the probabilities of an owner’s being confirmed to any specific choice or range of choices.
(c) All written, visual, and electronic communications relating to an exchange company or an exchange program shall be filed with the commissioner upon its request.
(d) The failure of an exchange company to observe the requirements of this section, and the use of any unfair or deceptive act or practice in connection with the operation of an exchange program, is a violation of this chapter.
(e) An exchange company may elect to deny exchange privileges to any owner whose use of the accommodations of the owner’s time-share plan is denied, and no exchange program or exchange company shall be liable to any of its members or any third parties on account of any such denial of exchange privileges.
(a) The following communications shall not be deemed an advertisement or promotion and are exempt from this chapter so long as the communications are in compliance with Section 11245:
(1) Any stockholder communication, such as an annual report or interim financial report, proxy material, a registration statement, a securities prospectus, a registration, a property report, or other material required to be delivered to a prospective purchaser by an agency of any state or the federal government.
(2) Any oral or written statement disseminated by a developer to broadcast or print media, other than paid advertising or promotional material, regarding plans for the acquisition or development of time-share property. However, any rebroadcast or any other dissemination of the oral statements to a prospective purchaser by a developer or any person in any manner, or any distribution of copies of newspaper magazine articles or press releases, or any other dissemination of the written statements to a prospective purchaser by a developer or any person in any manner, shall constitute an advertisement.
(3) Any advertisement or promotion in any medium to the general public if the advertisement or promotion clearly states that it is not an offer in any jurisdiction in which any applicable registration requirements have not been fully satisfied.
(4) Any audio, written, or visual publication or material relating to the availability of any accommodations for transient rental, so long as a sales presentation is not a term or condition of the availability of the accommodations and so long as the failure of any transient renter to take a tour of a time-share property or attend a sales presentation does not result in any reduction in the level of services that would otherwise be available to the transient renter.
(b) Any communication regarding a time-share interest that is addressed to any person who has previously executed a contract for the sale or purchase of that time-share interest and that does not constitute a solicitation of a time-share interest, shall be exempt from this chapter.
A time-share interest in a time-share plan shall be deemed an interest in subdivided lands or a subdivision for purposes of subdivision (f) of Section 25100 of the Corporations Code.
(a) Time-share plans registered as Qualified Resort Vacation Club Projects under prior law shall continue to operate under that prior law notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary.
(b) (1) All registrations of time-share plans in effect on the effective date of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect and shall be considered registered pursuant to this chapter.
(2) All time-share plans included in this subdivision are subject to Sections 11217, 11219, 11238, 11239, 11245, 11250, and 11280 to 11286, inclusive, and shall be required to comply with the other provisions of this chapter at the time they seek amendment or renewal of their existing registrations. When an amendment or renewal of a time-share plan is filed with the commissioner, the existing registration continues in full force and effect while the amendment or renewal is pending before the commissioner.
(c) Any existing injunction or temporary restraining order validly obtained that prohibits unregistered practice of time-share developers, time-share plans, or their agents shall not be invalidated by the enactment of this chapter and shall continue to have full force and effect on and after the effective date of this chapter.