In the real estate world, this term is related specifically to timeshare properties. A lockoff refers to a timeshare unit that can be divided into two distinct dwelling units — one literally locked off from the other. This type of timeshare gives the owner more flexibility in how the unit can be used.

What is a lockoff or lockout?

Lockoff timeshare units typically have two to four bedrooms, and they must be able to be divided into two distinct living quarters with separate entrances. Typically, one half is a full unit with a bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchen, while the other half is smaller, with a kitchenette and more of a hotel-room layout. You may also hear a lockoff referred to as a lockout; both terms mean the same thing.

This arrangement gives the owners of the timeshare several options. They can choose to stay in one half of the unit themselves while renting out the other half to other vacationers, rent out the entire unit to a single party or rent out each half to different parties.

A lockoff also may give the owners more flexibility with their timeshare vacation time. They may be able to spend a week in one half of the unit and use the other half another time, for example. Or they may be able to stay a week and exchange the second week for another timeshare resort.

If you are considering renting or buying a timeshare, be sure to confirm whether or not it is a lockoff unit, and what amenities are included, before signing anything.

Lockoff example

Becky and Jerry buy a timeshare at one of their favorite beachfront vacation spots. The couple bought a lockoff unit. The locked-off portion of their unit resembles a hotel room, with one room, plus a bathroom and a small but functional kitchenette. The other side of the unit has two full bedrooms and a proper kitchen, and is much roomier overall. After thoroughly reviewing all the rules and restrictions for using and renting their unit, the couple decide they will use the larger side of the unit for their annual two-week stay and rent the lockoff to someone else.