Florida House Bill 869 – A Confusing 2023 Timeshare Legislative Update

Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida House Bill 869 into law on June 9. In addition to package stores licensed to sell beer, wine and liquor for consumption off premises, now able to sell nicotine products, HB 869 eased regulations for the timeshare industry. The bill was sponsored by Florida Representative Stan McClain (R) and Senator Ed Hooper (R). Finding the language in the bill baffling, we reached out to several experts to help us understand what appears to be more legislation designed to ease regulations for Developers, to the detriment of timeshare consumers.

HB 869 timeshare provisions include:

  • Eliminates certain requirements for the offering of incidental benefits in the sale of a timeshare plan, including repealing the 15 per cent of the purchase price limitation on the aggregate represented value of all incidental benefits offered by the developer, the requirement that an acknowledgement and disclosure statement indicates the source of the services, points, or other products that constitute the incidental benefit, and the requirement that the developer promptly notify the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes of the DBPR upon learning of the unavailability of any incidental benefit;

(Another expert explained that the following very confusing bullet point applies to secondary market transactions)

  • Extends from one year to five years the period to void a contract when a closing unlawfully occurred before the cancellation period’s expiration, and retains the one-year right for a purchaser to void a contract if he or she knowingly or unknowingly waived the right to cancel the contract within the 10-day cancellation period;
  • Revises public offering statement requirements to allow the developer’s description of each component site for a multisite timeshare plan to be provided to the purchaser electronically, and to provide that a developer is not required to file a separate public offering statement for any component site located within or outside Florida, in order to include the component site in the multistate timeshare plan.

These provisions take effect July 1, 2023.

Vote: Senate 37-1; House 106-0


In 2021, timeshare law was amended to allow contract documents to be provided electronically. This year that provision expands to include descriptions of component sites to be provided to the purchaser electronically. While it’s no problem receiving a contract electronically when buying a house, because the buyer controls the sales process, we have received many complaints about the contract and the Public Offering Statement (POS) being nowhere to be found on a provided flash drive. One law firm reported that one developer’s flash drive never contained the contract as promised. While buyers can request a hard copy, try obtaining a hard copy of documents, while on vacation, by contacting a corporate office. The sales agent typically disappears after the buyer has signed. When CDs were the medium, one timeshare member said that they were given a CD that was passcode protected. When she called repeatedly to obtain the passcode, she was told to stop calling.

Another concern is that the bill repeals the limit of the “aggregate value of incidental benefits” making it easier for the value of incidental benefits to be inflated via the oral representation clause. In 2016 attorney Mike Finn coined the oral representation clause the “license to lie” clause. Incidental benefits can disappear at the developer’s whim. Benefits may include day use of facilities, travel insurance provisions, the ability to rent, or the ability to upgrade a unit. Mike Finn’s take on HB 869:

I’ve been given the opportunity to share my comments about HB 869 which I believe has now been signed into law as of June 9, 2023. I’ve also had an opportunity to review several comments regarding the ‘bill’ by knowledgeable folks within the timeshare industry. Most of the comments I’ve seen are quite logically characterized by separation into two categories, industry or consumer friendly. 

I looked hardest at the comments designated ‘consumer friendly’ because I personally don’t believe that any amendment to the Timeshare Act has ever really been consumer friendly. This actually makes sense to me, as I’m familiar with the legislator/lobbyist incestuous relationship that exists, and the caveat that emerges from that; namely that money buys political influence and that consumers have very little political influence as they are the group that the timeshare industry feeds on like the proverbial vampire bat and the villager armed only with torches and pitchforks. Ironically, much of the lobbyist’s money comes from ARDA-ROC, a ‘so-called’ consumer organization operated (again very, very ironically) by ARDA, the timeshare industry’s standard-bearer, who extracts from their consumer-owners a ‘so-called’ voluntary contribution tacked onto timeshare-owners (consumers) annual maintenance dues and fees.

My only point is that there are no consumer-friendly provisions in this new Bill, and very few, if any, in any prior amendments! Even the one that seems obviously consumer orientated, extending to 5 years from 1, the ‘so-called’ voidable time-frame to cancel an “illegal contract” is meaningless, given that the industry is well aware of this provision and inserts within every timeshare contract a built-in delay between contract signing and closing. In point of fact, the ‘closing’ becomes an unattended, unobserved, date on a calendar that simply triggers the purchase immediately after the 5-10 day rescission period. It’s thereby virtually impossible to violate this provision which could be extended from 1 year to 100 years with absolutely no negative impact on the timeshare developers!

This new law is simply one more nail in the unwary timeshare owner’s coffin!

Respectfully submitted,

Michael D. Finn, Esq.

Incidental benefits are often of poor value. When I attempted to turn in points for an airline ticket, it would have cost $1,000 for one domestic ticket. The resort’s customer service department explained that airline tickets are for convenience, not value.

What other experts say about HB 869

One expert responded that the bill was confusing and they doubted the Congressmen understood what they were proposing. An attorney familiar with legislative matters said it read like “gobbledygook” and after a few attempts, gave up trying to understand it. A few other experts responded that they need more time to respond.  One interesting comment was that Florida is not allowed to impose requirements on states outside of Florida. This was in reference to not providing a Public Offering Statement for multi-site locations located outside of Florida.


ARDA-ROC, the timeshare industry’s Political Action Committee (PAC), raises over $5 million a year from timeshare members. Out of over 2,500 timeshare members, when we asked, none could explain what ARDA-ROC is, and most were not aware of the donation. Most donations are opt-out, meaning you have to contact the resort to have the donation removed. A few times that was not so easy for me to accomplish. In 2010, ARDA was fined by the Federal Election Commission for not calling the donation voluntary. When I paid my 2023 maintenance fee to Diamond Resorts, the website page made no mention of the donation. When I clicked “Make a Payment” I saw this:

Financial Summary

Membership Fees                                                                                                                                     Balance Due $1,318.72

I would not be aware of the ARDA-ROC donation unless I checked “Account History” which I never did until I started researching the industry.

Account History

Transaction Date Description  Debit  Balance
10-Nov-2022 Point Standard Assessment $1,037.72 $1,318.72
10-Nov-2022 ARDA-ROC Voluntary Contribution $7.00 $281.00
10-Nov-2022 The Club Dues $274 $274.00

Timeshare Users Group (TUG) admin, Brian Rogers, produced a YouTube video, alarmed that ARDA was referring timeshare members to ARDA members that charge an upfront fee to sell a timeshare. We know many honest timeshare brokers that function like a traditional real estate agents, paid at closing. Brian points out that the definition of Voluntary is: “done, given or acting of one’s own free will.”


Past anti-consumer legislation includes:

  • In July of 2021, HB 575 was signed into law allowing all documents to be provided electronically.
  • In 2019, ARDA lobbyists in Arizona argued against offering the timeshare buyer a 24-hour “cooling-off period” BEFORE signing a perpetual timeshare contract (financed at 12% to 19%), with little to no resale value.
  • A law enacted in Florida in 2015 made it more difficult to be released from a timeshare contract based on “non-material” errors.
  • In North Carolina, timeshare brokers no longer are required to hold a real estate license.


The Consumer’s Voice?

In 2019 ARDA-ROC stated that they were working on legislative issues in 14 states including Non-Judicial Foreclosure. 

What ARDA reported to the consumer group RedWeek: Supports non-judicial foreclosure laws which provide strong consumer protection provisions. https://www.redweek.com/blog/2019/12/02/arda-roc-maintenance-fees

What ARDA reported to fellow Developers: ARDA-ROC Chairman Kenneth McKelvey stated in  letterhead minutes of the April 10, 2019 ARDA-ROC meeting at ARDA’s World annual conference: (The link has been taken down)

“The best thing we can do with exit (is) judicial foreclosure, ruin the credit and enforce the contract,”

The Bill that would have allowed a timeshare buyer 24 hours to consider their decision passed the House 100%. At the AZ Senate hearing, ARDA lobbyist Don Isaacson led the session stating:

“But the bottom line is that the state should not step in to protect people who didn’t bother to understand the nature of the deal. ”


We hope timeshare members will take the time to become involved with legislative matters. It costs about $100,000 to lobby at the federal level, and $10,000 to $12,000 per state, according to a pro-consumer lobbyist we reached out to. Developers make billions, yet bill the consumer $5 million a year to further the industry’s agenda. That’s just not right.

Related articles

Donations the ARDA-ROC PAC makes to political parties:


ARDA’s June 22, 2023 Public Relations Release

In the early 1990s, ARDA established the Resort Owners’ Coalition (ROC) to harness the voices of timeshare owners and finance political activities to safeguard them from unfair and restrictive regulations.


Timeshare and Resort Developer Accountability, Inc.


Thank you, Irene, for bringing us this update on yet another “propaganda” coup by the timeshare industry, I say “propaganda” because that is what it is. The industry’s own “Trade BodyARDA, only yesterday, 22 June, published “How Research and Advocacy Are Transforming Today’s Timeshare Experience”, in conjunction with Skift, a travel industry news site. We should also point out that they also provide “Market Research & Marketing Services” to the travel industry.

The timing of this “article” is rather appropriate, ARDA makes the following statements:

“ARDA uses its research and resources to educate lawmakers about the differences between full and fractional ownership so they don’t simply throw timeshare in with every other form of property regulation.”

“We’re sold and look like real estate, but we act like hospitality, so timeshare is in a unique position that requires a lot of education,” Gamel said. “We pride ourselves on being part of the development of almost 100 percent of all the timeshare laws in existence, whether drafting them, helping with amendments, or proposing changes.”

If that does not tell you what they are up to I’m not sure what will.

They seem to love using the word “educate”, a word which I believe is being used incorrectly, I prefer to use the word “indoctrinate”. My reasoning is simple, education implies balance, I was always taught in history that there are always two sides to the events I was studying, and without that, I cannot make an informed decision or opinion.

ARDA gives only their version and what they want the lawmakers to know, the first quote, “so they don’t simply throw timeshare in with every other form of property regulation,” is your first clue.

The second clue is the statement by Mr Gamel, President & CEO of ARDA, “We’re sold and look like real estate, but we act like hospitality, so timeshare is in a unique position that requires a lot of education,”. That is just the question that we have been asking recently, “What is Timeshare?”

Does Gamel have an answer, I doubt it.

He also bleats on about ARDAs “Pride” as being “instrumental” (my interpretation) in the development of “almost 100%” of timeshare laws in “existence”, so where are they and who do they actually benefit, certainly not the consumer?

Just to help you along, here are the two definitions for Education and Indoctrination, please note I have added a couple of updates.




give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to (someone), typically at a school or university.

provide or pay for instruction for (one’s child), especially at a school.

“she had crises of conscience about how best to educate her youngest child”

give (someone) training in or information on a particular subject.

“a plan to educate the young on the dangers of (timeshare)”





the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically. (the lawmakers)

“prisoners are subjected to brainwashing, indoctrination, and punishment” (Timeshare Owners)


teaching; instruction.

“methods that were approved for indoctrination in divinity” (The Industry)

Link to the ARDA, SKIFT article, AIT will be publishing a full review of this “offering” from ARDA in the very near future.


That’s it for this week, as we said in yesterday’s article, “Timeshare never a dull moment”. We hope you all have a great weekend, I received a picture of Baby Dog on vacation, from his cheeky look, I would suggest he has been at the flower beds.





  1. JoAnn Worsham

    Our Bluegreen timeshare account has been Suspended (Locked). We are being accused of renting commercially, which is ridiculous! We, in no way, have ever engaged in commercial renting activity! We have made reservations and rented some to family and friends to help offset some of our annual maintenance fees.

    I find it odd that in Mr. Gamel’s statements in the article below, he says (in black and white) that timeshare owners CAN rent out. It seems that they (Mr. Gamel and Bluegreen) should be on the same page. But Bluegreen has suspended hundreds of accounts for renting, including our account. We would not be considered as having a “Mega points” account.

    “Steamboat is going to great lengths to make sure people are not buying properties and simply renting them out,” Gamel said. “But timeshare owners can rent out their properties like anyone else does, and prohibitions don’t make a lot of sense if the renter is one of 25 or 50 other owners in a unit. We want to make sure owners are caught up in regulations that say, for example, that they need to register with the city before they can rent their property, which cannot be a primary residence.”

  2. Candy

    It’s hard to imagine that Congressmen don’t take time to understand what they are proposing. We were given a cheap tablet and could not view our contract during the rescission period. More people should be reaching out to let them know what is really going on. Congress needs to get out of bed with the Timeshare Companies especially Westgate and STAND UP for the American people. NEWS FLASH We elected you remember!

    1. Joan Miller

      I am SO very disappointed in people elected to do right by American citizens. America is going away, fast. There are lots of serious problems and seemingly all the problems get ignored by the media and congress appears to not be willing to try to do what’s right. Regarding the timeshare industry, I’ve been keeping up on many sites for years and it is so absolutely ridiculous that NO agency seems to care about doing what’s right. I recognized that Bluegreen sales refused to tell truths that would hurt a sale so I dealt with it.

      Timeshare sales agents are told to out and out lie, to say whatever it takes to take all the money they can from hard working people. To me, it is criminal. I see the whole picture and it is very very ugly. They seem to have newcomers who are much worse than Bluegreen used to be. Lawmakers NEED to look into this. I know what I’m talking about but, of course, no one should take anybody else’s word for something.

      Here’s the deal. They sell to the people they get in by use of a $100 to $200 GIFT for coming in and listening. When I bought in, it was customary for Bluegreen to have a section where they would rent for the owners to help out with annual fees. Then, sales promoted the idea of owners renting. (Buy extra points so that you can rent enough to pay your annual fees). The contracts reflected that. Now they have totally changed many policies to their advantage and to consumers disadvantage. The new contract allows no renting. I was totally lied to and stripped of probably $12,000 more when I didn’t need more points because sales told me that I would get another two years of points dropped in my account. I had bought in several times and assumed that it was a reputable company. They will not make this right. Plus they are shutting down MANY accounts and accusing them of renting.

      In the first place, there is no logical reason that people can’t enjoy their timeshare the way they need to but… that’s apparently beside the point. It is quite clear to me that this is a way to take back MANY accounts that people paid for so that they can sell them again. Also, they raised the annual fees so high that people can’t afford them, especially if they can’t rent a few to offset the fees as was promised when people bought a few years ago.

      They have on the contract that we know we are not to believe anything sales tells us. To me, this whole thing is a huge setup to make big money and no consideration for the consumer. There is a long list of lies that sales uses to extort money from people. It has been posted on more than one Facebook page. They are taking mega bucks off people, including elderly by telling them they can use their points to save lots of money on various things and it’s all a lie. Until you read this daily, you have no idea how really BAD it is.

      I used to think that when people posted that it’s a SCAM, I thought they were out in left field. They weren’t. It’s a scam, daily. PLEASE, please review contracts, past and present and consider how they are treating the public and PLEASE make timeshares, all of them, have contracts in which there is plenty of protection for the public. ALSO, to try to force people to pay annual fees for the next year in order to get out of the contract is so very wrong. A representative from corporate told me that a person could just not pay next year’s fees and they would do nothing. He said that the only repercussion would be that another contract couldn’t be bought until they paid what they owed.

      In the first place, nothing in the contract allows people to get out of the contract, that I’ve seen and that is SO wrong. All Bluegreen’s contract is – the use of points. We do not own a piece of land and condo. Just the right to use it. To me, that’s just more extortion and that should be illegal. In other words, timeshares are allowed to treat individuals in a criminal way, in my opinion and this needs to be stopped —-NOW. Furthur, DeSantis was ok with the new Florida law that favors timeshares even more. He may not have realized he was being used but whatever reason, I won’t be voting for him. Anybody who condones what timeshares do is favoring criminal activity,.

      1. Chris B.

        Joan, I had to LOL at your post. It amazes me that Americans still cannot see through the charade. Why are you disappointed?  These folk are “elected” because they are installed by their handlers who own the media and use propaganda to get you to vote for wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Americans need to open their eyes. The crooks will NEVER do right by you, so stop waiting for it.  They are the foxes in the henhouse. The sooner Americans open their eyes, the sooner this will make sense of why they are doing this to you. The ONLY way you can stop this is run for office across the country, in every election.  Make sure you know who is running because handlers astroturf fake “grassroots” people and put money and propaganda behind them as well.  Look at Boebert, Greene and Walker. Just like Moody and Desantis, these folk don’t work in your best interest, so don’t expect them to EVER look out for your safety.
        *//serious problems and seemingly all the problems get ignored by the media and congress// Guess who owns the media and congress? The same folk that own the crooked politicians in Florida as well.
        *//take all the money they can from hard working people. To me, it is criminal. //Yes but when crooks are in office, they legalize crime for themselves and their friends.
        *//Lawmakers NEED to look into this// As long as the foxes are in the henhouse, expect to get devoured. Nobody will look into this until Americans clean house.
        *//contract that we know we are not to believe anything sales tells us.// Crooks in government allowed this “license to lie.”  They allow “legalized fraud.”
        *//I used to think that when people posted that it’s a SCAM, I thought they were out in left field.// That’s part of the plan. They want fresh suckers to believe victims are crazy. They do that on purpose so you can trust them and they can screw you too.
        *//All Bluegreen’s contract is – the use of points. We do not own a piece of land and condo.// It’s a genius scam, right? The devils are hard at work at their think tanks.  Even the FTC acknowledges this scam.
        *//that’s just more extortion and that should be illegal.//Should be, could be, but never will be as long as you continue to vote for crooks in the henhouse.
        *//He (Desantis) may not have realized he was being used but whatever reason// Oh HAHAHA! Desantis knows what he’s doing. Remember this is the same guy who doesn’t want you to know what he’s doing with your tax dollars.  Evil is as evil does.
        You want “what’s right”? Then Americans need to put down the koolaid served by both parties intended to distract, divide and conquer you as they rob you blind and strip your freedom, and UNITE to take back our country.  As long as you’re divided, expect more of the same: getting screwed.

  3. Jessica Leadbetter

    Elected Politicians need to remember that “We the People” elected them to do a job for us ….Protect. There is no protection in this Bill for us the People/consumers. We stopped paying on our timeshare to Westgate. The sales agent and their director cleverly dodged the recession period. Westage sent us with a CD that supposedly has our contract on it; that we can not open or use. Asked on June 2, 2023 for an Email with a copy of our contract and a PAPER copy of our contract, today is the 25 of June still have yet to receive either. Once they knew they had us locked in for the recession period all help stopped. I ask WHY is there no protection for the consumers?

    1. Chris B.

      Jessica, no offense but that is a joke. Your government is corrupted by design. They don’t work for you; they work for their handlers. They have sold soul and are “elected” because they have big money behind them from their owners. The owners install them and then use propaganda via the media they also own to influence voters to “elect” the wolves in sheep’s clothing and put foxes in the henhouse. They don’t care about you. Thus, there is no protection for consumers because the foxes are in position to devour you. Don’t ever expect ole Ron or Ashely to care for you. I contacted the FLAG’s office and demanded to see the kickbacks they receive from timeshare. I was informed that I am not allowed to see that data and they will not share it with me. The only way America can take back her country is to unite (the foxes in charge want to keep you divided and conqured), run for office, vote for each other and have justice for all crooks.

  4. Pamela Stilwell

    Thank you for the reminder to opt out of ARDA. I honestly forgot to look when the annual statement came in and will call of see if I can still have this removed.

    It is disappointing that the State of Florida decided to approve this legislation. In the long run the timeshare industry hurts the overall hospitality industry in my opinion. I found myself not wanting to go and use the timeshares in Orlando because of the constant high pressure push to attend a presentation. Their loss when I chose other locations where the word “no” was understood and I didn’t receive numerous phone calls.

    1. Chris B.

      No, not disappointing that Florida did this. This is to be EXPECTED that Florida did this. Remember, when you have a corrupted governor and attorney general, EXPECT evil to occur. The timeshare industry is another “big industry” that owns your corrupted politicians, so expect more corruption. And timeshare doesn’t care what they do to hospitality, bc in the end, as long as they are leeching your hard-earned money, they simply do – not – care.

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