What has changed this year legally – and what comes 2023

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Warranty law

It started well before. On January 1, 2022, the new regulations on warranty law came into force, making it easier for consumers to enforce their warranty claims if the purchased goods have a defect. Austria did not take on a pioneering role in this respect; instead, it was a matter of complying with European directives. Attorney Robert Suppan from the Suppan/Berger law firm in St. Veit an der Glan explains why the amendment is nevertheless a significant improvement from the consumer’s point of view: “To be able to assert warranty claims, a defect must have existed at the time the goods were handed over. In practice, this is often difficult to prove, which is why there is a statutory presumption period in which the law assumes that this defect already existed when the product was taken over. This statutory presumption period has been extended from half a year to a full year with the new warranty law.”

It is important to note that in the case of movable items such as electrical appliances or cars, a defect must become apparent within two years, and in the case of immovable objects such as real estate, within three years of handover, for warranty claims to be valid. In these cases, the law primarily provides for repair or replacement of the defective product and only, if neither is possible, a price reduction or repayment of the purchase price.

Road traffic regulations
The new rules in the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO) for promoting bicycle and pedestrian traffic, which have been in force since October 1, have already been the subject of lively discussion this year. Among other things, it is now permitted to turn right at certain intersections with a bicycle despite the red light of traffic light. Suppan: “And when parking, the basic rule is that vehicles may not protrude into areas for pedestrian or bicycle traffic. Only a small projection is permissible with sidewalks or footpaths, for instance, the bumper,” explains the lawyer.

And how does it stand now with the likewise eagerly discussed confiscation of cars for overspeeding? “There is still no sound legal basis for this; the draft law is only under review,” explains the lawyer.

Brokerage fees, lending
As for the long-announced reform of real estate brokerage fees, which eliminates the brokerage commission for rental parties, the current status is also a draft law. According to this, the buyer principle with “comprehensive protection against circumvention” is to apply from July 1, 2023. Accordingly, a broker must be paid by the person who appointed them.

Persons of older age are often disadvantaged in practice when it comes to loans. “A supplementary regulation in the Mortgage and Real Estate Credit Act is intended to clarify from April 1, 2023, when the fact that one might die during the loan term can be disregarded in the creditworthiness check,” explains the Carinthian lawyer. And that brings us to another law still in the review process. With the granting of credit counts accordingly: It must be probable that one can meet the current obligations under the loan agreement during his lifetime, and there must be enough assets to serve as collateral.

  • source: kleinezeitung.at/picture: pixabay.com
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