Biennial ownership is a term used to describe a fractional share of ownership in a property. Applying primarily to timeshares, it allows the owner to use the property every other year.

What is biennial ownership?

In biennial ownership, a person participating in a timeshare home has access to and use of a property every other year. In comparison, an owner able to use it every year will have annual usage, and those who can use it two times a year will have biannual usage.

Biennial usage is also often referred to as EOY (every other year) ownership or usage.

How does biennial ownership work?

In timeshares, numerous people buy points or weeks of time to use a property, usually a vacation home. Generally speaking, each owner buys a share or period of time in which they can use the residence. The timeshare purchase agreement outlines how much time the buyer will have to use the property each year.

Those who buy a timeshare and wish to use it every other year will purchase biennial ownership. Most timeshares offer a week or more of use each year — annual ownership timeshares. Some provide use twice a year — biannual ownership. It is possible for other ownership types to be offered, including multiple visits per year, and others that divide the length of time out over several years.

In most biennial ownership contracts, the purchase agreement will assign years for the buyer, specifying even or odd years. In most situations, the more frequent the access, the more expensive the purchase price of the timeshare.

What are the pros and cons of biennial ownership?

Many people prefer to holiday in a home rather than a hotel. Timeshares give you a guaranteed vacation home without the headaches or the expenses of full-out ownership.  Unfortunately, timeshares aren’t always a good investment. They can have extremely high maintenance costs, and the contracts can be tricky to get out of.

Among the different types of timeshare ownership, biennial ownership has its own pros and cons.


  • Biennial ownership can be a cheaper option than other ownership types that give you more time. Typically, biennial owners pay half of what the annual timeshare owners do.
  • If you don’t get much annual paid time-off, biennial ownership can allow you to save up your vacation time for the years in which you are “on.”


  • You may not be able to travel in the years you have access to your timeshare or you may wish to vacation in a different location.
  • It is often difficult, if not impossible, to switch years.

Other alternative ownership options, like points systems, can give you more flexibility on when you visit your timeshare, the duration of your stays, and even the locations you can visit.