How to Rent a Timeshare

This article is a continuation of 10 Reasons To Rent A Timeshare. Once you have decided to rent a timeshare, there are things to consider as you go about making that happen.

El Dorado Royale Riviera Maya

Redweek, TUG, and Craigslist

I frequently use to rent out one of the units I own as well as rent from other owners when I can’t get a trade or getaway I like. It is free to browse, but you’ll need a $19/yr membership if you want to proceed with a rental. From my experience, they have the best inventory and prices. They also provide escrow services for secure payments.

The Timeshare User Group ( is the oldest timeshare marketplace I know. There is less inventory than, but browsing and renting is free, so it is also worth a look.

Craigslist and Ebay often have owners trying to rent out their weeks, but there is a large Buyer Beware that goes along with it. You are handing over lots of money in advance and there are scams in the listings.

Private Beach Palapa at El Dorado Royale Riviera Maya

Things to Consider When Renting a Timeshare

Inventory is limited

Most people didn’t buy their timeshare intending to rent it out, so if you see something you like and can commit to the dates, go for it. It may not be there tomorrow.

Time may be on your side

Similar to buying someone’s concert ticket, if you are looking for a rental very soon, the owner may be willing to deal. Otherwise, they may get nothing since they often can’t change their reservation and they are on the hook for the cost.

Cancellation is sometimes not an option

The owners paid their maintenance fees to reserve the unit. If you cancel, they are still on the hook and would need to find another renter pronto, which may take considerable effort and cost. They are not motivated to do so.

Prepayment is required

That is the only way owners know they will get paid.

Duration is usually a week and usually starts/ends on Friday, Saturday or Sunday

That is how timeshare units are reserved. Owners are paying for 7 days, so they are not excited about selling you the weekend portion only. They would be stuck with finding someone who wants the mid-week days.

There may be additional fees

Although the price I mentioned for the Timber Lodge, referenced in 10 Reasons To Rent A Timeshare includes the unit, there is a sizable parking charge that would be payable to the resort. Some places are also starting to charge resort fees, because they can, to increase profits. Be sure to check what is included/excluded with any reservation prior to committing.

Trust but verify

It is wise to confirm with the resort that the unit is reserved by the person renting it to you. Honest mistakes can be made but you don’t want to risk your vacation on it. Once you have paid, confirm the resort is willing to let you check in, not just the owner.

Sublets are not allowed

Some advertisers are not really owners. They may have gotten the unit through a trade with a timeshare bank. Generally, they are not allowed to rent out a unit acquired in such a manner. It is in breach of contract. Any money you pay to them could be gone if they are caught. It is best to ask the person how they got the unit.

My Point Is – Even with the potential pitfalls just noted, renting a timeshare can be a great way to get the benefits of using a timeshare without the on-going commitment.

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