Anyone buying a property in France or moving there in 2017 should take note of these legal changes.
Architect required for renovations
Until now the limit for carrying out your own construction without employing an architect was 170 square metres – the size of a three- to four-bedroom house. From March 1st the limit is 150m2. If your project is larger than this you will be obliged to employ the services of an architect. The only exception to this rule is farm buildings which are exempt from the regulation.
From March 1st, if your project is larger than 105m2 you will be obliged to employ the services of an architect.
Airbnb/ le Bon Coin etc.
From 1st March websites such as these in the “sharing economy”, where the public can liaise with each other regarding accommodation booking or purchasing goods, cars, houses etc, will be obliged to warn their users of the need to pay tax on their earnings or declare their earnings. This will especially be relevant for owners of properties who advertise for holiday rentals.
From this month French doctors are able to prescribe a sporting activity for patients suffering from a chronic illness. This has already started in Strasbourg and Biarritz and works well. With so many health issues being related to weight and exercise, it is hoped that new fitness regimes will help tackle problems such as obesity and diabetes.
Speed cameras on motorways and main roads
The beginning of March sees new signs, designed to make drivers aware of black spots and speed limits, as well as warning of speed cameras just ahead. There are also plans to make speed limits much clearer so that no-one can say they were confused. Already in place on the Matrix boards on motorways is vehicle recognition. If you are speeding, your number plate will flash in front of you as you pass by.
There are also plans to make speed limits much clearer so that no-one can say they were confused if they get caught by a speed camera.
Price of gas
There was a drop in gas prices in February but it is being reversed this month, with the average rise going to be 2.63% on average and slightly higher for those using gas heating in their homes. The reason given for the rise is higher demand in the winter months.
French citizens can now apply online to renew their passport or identity card. These will gradually become biometric in line with many other European countries.