What changes for daily life in France from November

As with every month, the start of a new month brings with it some small but potentially significant changes for life in France.

What changes for daily life in France from November
Photo: AFP

Gas prices rise

This only concerns those who are signed up to provider Engie (formerly GDF). After months of prices falling tariffs are set to rise in November by as much as 1.6 percent.

In more detail it means a rise of around 0.5 percent for customers who only use gas for cooking, a one percent hike for those who use it for cooking and hot water and a 1.6 percent rise for those who use gas for heating as well.

However since January 1st prices have actually fallen an average of 5.8 percent.

The 'winter truce' begins

As every year in France November 1st heralds the beginning of the winter truce or “trêve hivernale” as it is called in French.

This is not a truce between warring politicians or police and criminals, it’s actually between landlords and tenants.

From now until March 31st no tenant can be forcibly evicted from their flat, so those landlords who are trying to evict tenants, for whatever reason, will have to wait until the spring.

Any landlord that does throw out a tenant could face up to three years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

The idea of the truce is to avoid people ending up on the streets in winter, although with global warming, perhaps the truce will not stay for ever.

The truce also applies to gas and electricity providers. They are not allowed to cut off power to those who haven’t paid their bills until the end of the truce on March 31st. 

READ ALSO: What exactly is France's annual 'winter truce'?

No smoking month

France has named November a 'Tobacco-free month' in order to encourage smokers to quit the habit, offering financial incentives as well as advice for would-be quitters.

The campaign was inspired by a similar move in the UK – Stoptober – which sees smokers encouraged to quit for October. The ministry of health noted that it was five times more likely that a smoker would quit for good after a month with no nicotine.

One of the most enticing elements for smokers is that the Ministry of Health will now partially reimburse smokers for the cost of nicotine patches, up to a maximum of €150 each year. While this was already the case for young people, those with health difficulties or living in poverty, for everyone else the amount had been capped at €50 annually.

READ ALSO: France launches tobacco-free month to help smokers quit

Obligatory gloves for motorcyclists and scooter drivers

France forces motorbike and scooter riders to wear gloves

From November 20th this year it will be compulsory to wear gloves if you're a motorcyclist. 

In fact, the law will apply to “any driver or passenger of a motorcycle, a motor tricycle, a motor quadricycle, or a moped”.

Failing to do so puts you at risk of a €68 fine and the loss of one point from your driving license. 

The move is strictly for motorists' safety, with the government's Journal Officiel website saying the move aims to “limit serious injuries to hands and forearms”. 

READ ALSO: France forces motorbike and scooter riders to wear gloves

Airbnb imposes a new charter on users

From now on Airbnb users will be asked to commit to an ethics charter as the home-letting website aims to fight against racism and other forms of discrimination.

The message should appear when a user tries to make a booking or rent an apartment.

The text will read: “I agree to treat all members of the Airbnb community with respect without prejudice and without distinction of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or age.”

If the user refuses then he will not be able to rent or let an apartment.

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