New laws as of 1 June 2014

Effective June 1, 2014, several new laws will come into force. Thus, the Germans now have more say in major projects. From 1 June 2014, new regulations will also apply to future builders wishing to claim support from KfW. On June 13, important rules for online shopping will come into effect.

Before 1 July 2014, a number of important new regulations – such as the maternal pension and the pension at 63 – come into force, as of 1 June 2014, a few new laws will apply. From the middle of the month, to June 13, citizens will also be better protected by the EU Consumer Rights Directive in purchase contracts. This applies above all to shopping on the Internet or on the phone. Particularly pleasing: Paid customer hotlines may no longer exist in the future. The caller pays only “for the telephone connections themselves”, so the federal government.

New regulations as of June 1, 2014: More say

In order to avoid future conflicts in major projects, a new law of 1 June 2014 provides for the earlier and greater involvement of citizens. The Law on Improving Public Participation and Standardization of Planning Approvals aims to inform and inform the public at an early stage about the objectives of a major project, the necessary financial means and the possible effects of the major project. Parts of the law came into force around a year ago. Now the new regulation also includes projects on federal waterways and highways.

Funding for building renovation only with experts

If you want to build or buy a house, there are various options for mortgage lending. For example, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) financially supports developers through various programs, such as the construction of an energy-efficient house, with favorable loans. Anyone wanting to receive KfW funding from 1 June 2014 needs an expert for energy planning. This also carries out the construction supervision. As of today, these experts must be registered in the so-called energy efficiency expert lists for the funding programs “Energy-efficient construction and renovation”.

More shopping protection throughout Europe

On 13 June 2014, the Consumer Rights Directive will enter into force across the EU. Sellers must then inform their customers comprehensively about the goods themselves, the total price – including all taxes and other costs -, the terms of payment and the terms of delivery. Already in August 2012, Germany implemented the so-called Button solution. If you click on this button, which is usually labeled with a “charge” order, the corresponding product is binding and is thus obligated to pay. With this solution, the EU wants to avoid cost traps on the Internet. The EU Consumer Rights Directive also provides for further new regulations:

  • Pre-set check marks, for example for an additional travel cancellation insurance for a holiday trip booked online, will be ineffective in the future
  • EU-wide right of withdrawal of 14 days
  • Customers must pay for the return of goods themselves, even if the value of goods exceeds 40 euros – unless the buyer bears the costs
  • No paid customer hotlines anymore