Dear Timeshare owner,
We trust you have settled into 2016, it’s amazing we are already into the third month of the year.
At the beginning of January, we were contacted by Peter Pienaar who is the general manager of Sunswop who was looking for our opinion on certain changes to be implemented with regard to private arrangements at the Southern Sun resorts.
Briefly in the past a timeshare owner gave written permission to a third party who upon presentation of this to the resort was given the right to occupy the unit for the week in question.
In the case of agents representing the owner, a written mandate was issued which was passed onto the resort with the private arrangement information. Over the years a number of persons have set themselves up as “agents” and have acted on behalf of owners by finding persons to occupy the unit and they in turn would pay owners out.
Quantum Sun are however in full agreement with the opinion of Sunswop that this practice is open to abuse and possible scams which may detrimentally effect timeshare owners can occur leading to financial loss when dealing with unregistered rental agents.
So how does a rental agent become registered and an owner become protected when entering into a private arrangement with an agent for someone to occupy his unit. Timeshare rental agents are considered to be in the same classification as estate agents and as such must be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board and obtain a fidelity fund certificate which has to be renewed annually. Becoming a registered estate agent is not an easy task these days and involves the writing of a number of examinations and attending ongoing yearly training courses, non compliance of which results in deregistration and fidelity fund certificates being withdrawn. To timeshare owners, the fidelity fund certificate is your protection against malpractice e. g if an agent collects funds on your behalf and fails to remit these to you, you can approach the EAAB who can take the necessary steps against the agent registered with them and at the same time refund you from the fidelity fund for any losses incurred in the event of that agent losing his or her accreditation or by acting in fraudulent manner.
Quantum Sun is an accredited agent and has held fidelity fund certificates going back 36 years to the 12th of March 1980. We are fully behind the new regulations implemented by Southern Sun at their resorts that they will in future only accept private arrangement bookings if these are confirmed by agents holding fidelity fund certificates or by owners advising the resort directly in writing of a private arrangement.
If you are therefore requested by your “agent” to send an advice to your resort directly, you can be sure that that agent is not registered and does not hold a fidelity fund certificate and you therefore run the risk of financial loss as there is no guarantee the funds collected on your behalf will be forwarded on to you. We at Quantum Sun would like to emphasise especially in this day and age of scams being perpetrated on a daily basis that one should take every precaution to protect yourself.
We would also like to once again confirm that “accredited agents” at Southern Sun resorts whilst holding FFC certificates do not have any exclusive rights to rentals and sales at their respective resorts. We have pointed out in the past that the disadvantage of dealing with these agents is that they are locked into their own resorts and will not give an overall picture of the timeshare industry even within their own company as they are restricted to sales and rentals within the resort they are accredited to. Quantum Sun is an independent timeshare rental and resale agent and can give unbiased advice on the industry as a whole which is not often forthcoming if you are dealing directly with an “accredited agent” for a particular resort.
Please contact us for the handling of all rentals and timeshare sales at any Southern Sun/Tsogo Sun resort and also the Peninsula in Cape Town and Breakers in Umhlanga. Our staff have, over fifty years of experience in the industry and are at your service to give you sound advice whether you are buying, selling or renting.
Please contact us urgently with regard to units you wish to rent out or sell between now and the end of the year.
DAVID G.JONES – MEMBER (CIEASA) (CEA) FETC REAL ESTATE NQF LEVEL 5 COMPETENT