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Renters, adoptions, minimum wage: What changes for consumers starting in April

Renters, adoptions, minimum wage : What changes for consumers starting in April

Rental price controls and protection for those negatively impacted by the corona crisis, airline tax increases and wage hikes in the construction industry. These are some of the changes that will impact consumers beginning in April.

Extension on rental price controls

Rental price controls will be extended and made more stringent until 2025. Where it applies, a landlord may generally charge a maximum of ten percent more than the local comparable rent when renting a new property. For the first time, tenants can also reclaim overpaid rent retroactively, for up to two and a half years.

Protection of tenants due to corona crisis

Tenants, clubs and small businesses that cannot pay their rent due to loss of income as a result of the corona pandemic should be protected from termination. As part of a series of aid measures, the federal Cabinet initiated a measure to this effect on Monday. According to this regulation, apartments or even rented rooms may not be terminated due to rent debts from the period between April 1 and June 30 of this year.

Adoption without marriage possible

Unmarried couples will also be able to adopt children in the future. The prerequisite is that they have lived together in a marriage-like situation for at least four years or already have a child in the same household. If one of the two partners is still married to someone else, adoption is only possible in exceptional cases. Until now, children could only be adopted if the parents were married.

Airline tax rates increase

Airline tickets could become more expensive. For domestic flights and flights within the EU, the airline tax will rise from 7.50 euros to 13.03 euros per ticket sold, for longer flights up to 6,000 kilometers it will go from the current 23.43 euros up to 33.01 euros, and for long-haul flights the tax will increase from 42.18 euros to 59.43 euros. This is the result of a political climate protection package and is intended to make flying less attractive. But it is not yet known what percentage of the surcharges will be passed on to customers by the airlines. Most flights are cancelled at the moment anyway due to the corona crisis.

Minimum wage in construction industry rising

Higher wage ceilings will be set for the construction industry. The minimum wage for unskilled workers will rise by 35 cents to 12.55 euros per hour. The minimum wage for skilled workers in the states of western Germany will rise by 20 cents to 15.40 euros, in Berlin to 15.25 euros. This minimum wage for skilled workers in construction does not exist in the eastern German states. According to the trade union IG BAU, about every fifth construction worker receives the minimum wage. In companies that are bound by collective agreements, the pay is better.

Pharmaceutical companies must provide information on inventories

In the fight against supply shortages of medicines, authorities may require pharmaceutical companies to provide information on their inventories, production and sales volumes of certain medicines. In the event of shortages, they may also be required to store larger quantities of certain products. And if they still fall short in obtaining the medicines they need, pharmacies will in the future be allowed to dispense more expensive drugs with the same active ingredient without the patient having to pay more for them.

Orig. text: ga.de (with material from dpa and epd)

Translation: ck