Changes that might affect you from April 1

Tradesmen such as plumbers will need to display all fees and details of estimates before taking on a job

A raft of changes to rules and regulations, from tradesmen to food labelling, come into force

Many new measures impacting daily life in France will come into force on Saturday April 1, including a drop in gas prices, a requirement for tradesmen to indicate their prices on the internet, improved food labelling and the need for estate agent listings to be more precise.

Here are the key changes:

Price of gas

  • Regulated gas tariffs will fall on average by 0.73% for Engie customers, the commission for energy regulation said. This decrease is 0.3% for those who use gas for cooking, 0.5% for those use gas for cooking and hot water, and 0.8% for households using it just for heating.
  • Approximately seven million households will be affected by this change.

Tradesmen transparency

  • Professionals such as plumbers or locksmiths working in private homes will have to display their fees on the internet if they have a website, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette on January 28.
  • All information concerning hourly labour rates, methods for preparing estimates, the prices of flat-rate services, travel costs and whether an estimate is free, payable or subject to change "must also be easily accessible on any communication space online dedicated to the professional”, it said.
  • Before doing the work, the tradesman must also provide the customer with a document containing the pre-contractual and contractual information (which was previously on the quote and repair order).

Food labelling

    • In an experiment due to last until early 2019, labels on processed foods containing 8% meat or more, such as frozen lasagne, must now list the country where the animal was born, reared and slaughtered.
    • Milk in cartons or milk products such as yoghurt containing least 50% milk must display the country of collection, packaging and processing. This has been optional since January 1 but is now mandatory.

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Property advertising

  • Immobilier advertisements relating to a sale or rental of property will need to be more precise. Adverts for properties for sale must now specify the selling price of the property and who is responsible for paying the intermediary's fees.
  • As for rental agents, they need to provide future tenants with the cost of "all inclusive" monthly rent, as well as other charges relating to the building.

Winter truce

  • April 1 also marks the end of the annual winter truce for tenants who do not pay their rent - they cannot be evicted from their property between November 1 and March 31 each year, unless "the relocation of the persons is guaranteed to meet certain conditions".
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