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Is a Timeshare Real Property or Personal Property?

The question of whether a timeshare interest is, for legal purposes, regarded as Real Property or Personal Property is not as black and white as one might expect.

On one hand, a timeshare interest is a part of a fixed structure that is lived in for a certain amount of time, which would seem to suggest that a timeshare interest is Real Property.

At the same time, a timeshare owner is only staying on the property for a few days or a couple of weeks, much like a stay in a resort or hotel, so one might also reasonably conclude that a timeshare interest is Personal Property. In fact, the answer depends on particular circumstances. Some timeshares are Real Property while others are Personal Property.

Is a Timeshare Real Property or Personal Property
Is a Timeshare Real Property or Personal Property?

How do I determine whether my timeshare is Real Property or Personal Property?

Real Property is defined as land, along with any buildings or other permanent fixtures on said land. Personal Property is defined as any property that is not Real Property.

A building and the land it was built on would be Real Property, but a table inside that same building or an RV parked on that same land would be Personal Property.

Whether a timeshare interest is legally considered Real Property or Personal Property depends on the particular type of interest.

If a buyer purchased a Deeded Timeshare, that timeshare interest is Real Property because the buyer is purchasing an interest in a particular unit and/or building.

However, if a buyer purchased a Leasehold or Right to Use Timeshare, the interest would be Personal Property because the buyer only purchased an interest in the right to use the real estate, as opposed to an interest in the real estate itself.

There are significant differences in the rights and value of the interest to the owners of Real Property and owners of Personal Property. Specifically, different laws or sets of laws can apply based on how property is characterized.

If a Timeshare is Real Property, Real Estate Laws generally apply. But if the Timeshare is Personal Property, then Real Estate Laws may not apply.

However, there are two states in particular – both states in which Sussman & Associates practices timeshare litigation – in which there is no fundamental distinction in law or regulation between Deeded Timeshares and Leasehold or Right to Use Timeshares.

In California, the Department of Real Estate regards all Timeshare Interests marketed and sold in the State of California as Real Property.

As such, consumer protections found in California Real Estate law – such as the state’s broad anti-deficiency statute – would apply to timeshare interests of all types sold in California, not just Deeded Timeshares.

In Nevada, the Nevada Revised Statutes also define all Timeshare Interests within the state as Real Property.

NRS 119A.170(4) states “…the terms ‘real property’ and ‘real estate’ as used in chapter 645 of NRS shall be deemed to include a time share, whether is it an interest in real property or merely a contractual right to occupy.”


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