What Is a Special Assessment on a Timeshare?

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What Is a Special Assessment on a Timeshare?

For many consumers, the greatest frustration with timeshare ownership is the costs, which tend to go above and beyond the initial purchase price that an owner pays for their interest.

Indeed, the ongoing costs of timeshare ownership also include maintenance fees, which tend to go up, year over year, as well as special assessments. The financial burden that these two types of fees can place on consumers may be great; in fact, the hefty costs of timeshare ownership, associated with fees and assessments, are among the biggest factors driving consumers away from the industry.

For many people, there is also a certain level of confusion that comes along with these bills, and a common query: “What is a special assessment?”


What are consumers paying for? Where does their money go, and why are they obligated to pay these often-steep expenses, perhaps even for a resort they’ve never used?

Our own Michael Finn recently took on a version of this common consumer question in an interview. Here’s a video of what he had to say:

And here’s a full transcription of his remarks:

“A special assessment is a lot like your maintenance fee, in the sense that you have to pay it. If you don’t, you won’t be able to use your unit. It’ll be essentially taken away from you.

A special assessment is, as the word would suggest, for an extraordinary type of an assessment. So for example, we’ve just gotten through some hurricanes in this area and there may be resorts with damages that are going to have to be repaired, and maybe this amount was not budgeted, and maybe some of it won’t be covered by insurance. So there is a possibility of a special assessment.

Maybe the developer will want to put in another pool, or expand the clubhouse, things that are not normal, average maintenance type items. The developer will pass those costs along to you, and you will be responsible to pay for them.”

Interested in learning more? Here are a few resources from the Finn Law Group team worth perusing:

Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.

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