Bin taxes, bank scams, chimneys: 5 French practical updates

Our round up of practical articles you may have missed

We also look at the disruption from ticket inspector strikes on France’s rail network
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Clarity on new chimney sweeping rules

Changes in 2023 to rules regarding how often chimneys must be swept have led to confusion.

Different installations have different rules, and as departments have some flexibility in defining local regulations, there is no national ‘fit-all’ answer.

Our article covers the rules for the main types of installations, as well as explaining why local differences might occur.

A tip is to contact your insurer to clarify what would be needed for them to accept a chimney sweeping certificate in the case of a fire (preferably in writing).

Read more: Once or twice a year? What is rule for chimney sweeping in France

Watch out for these banking scams

Financial institutions are warning residents about a new wave of scams, where fraudsters call victims whilst pretending to be advisors from their bank.

The scams, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated, have duped people out of tens of thousands of euros, and younger people are just as likely to fall prey as the elderly.

We provide a list of tips to prevent scammers from accessing your information.

Read more: How to avoid falling victim to ‘false bank advisor’ scams in France

Train strikes this weekend

As a reminder, ticket inspectors from two major rail unions are striking this weekend, leading to more than half of all high-speed trains being cancelled in France.

Disruptions will last until the evening of Sunday (February 18), and even those who have not been informed of any problems should check to see if their service is still running.

There has not been any official information about the strikes being prolonged or resuming next weekend.

Read more: French half-term train strikes: half of TGVs cancelled

‘Pay-per-bin’ scheme set to triple in size

The number of people who are set to pay extra charges for waste disposals is set to increase to 25 million people – up from only 7 million – in France by 2025.

It will be controlled by local authorities, who will be responsible for choosing whether they sign up.

It is part of a wider scheme to cut household waste by 15%.

Read more: ‘Pay per wheelie bin’ rubbish charge set to expand across France

Changes to energy efficiency rankings

Slight changes to the calculations of the energy efficiency rating of properties have been announced.

The changes will see smaller homes – which many landlords claimed were unfairly impacted – have a higher chance of being ranked above the lowest ‘F’ and ‘G’ levels on the DPE chart.

This in turn means they will not be affected by incoming restrictions on renting ‘energy inefficient’ properties.

Landlords and housing groups have welcomed the move, but some tenant associations have criticised it for making it easier for property owners to escape making renovations.

Read more: Property energy rating system in France eased (a little)