Here’s what caught our eye this week:
Toronto approves new short-term rental rules for services like Airbnb
This week, Toronto city council approved regulations for short-term rentals in Toronto, allowing homeowners to rent out principal residences only. That means that if homeowners have secondary suites, like basement apartments, they will not be allowed to list those for short-term rentals.
The city of Toronto will create a registry of short-term rental landlords who need to declare their rental property is their principal residence. They will also need to pay an annual fee of $50, according to the Canadian Press.
Around 10,800 Airbnbs were rented out in Toronto in 2016. According to Airbnb, more than three-quarters of their Toronto landlords are renting out their principal residences.
Ontario government to reform auto insurance system
Ontario will be making drastic changes to the auto insurance industry to try to combat fraud and lower insurance rates. According to Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, the cost of auto insurance fraud is estimated to be as high as $1.6 billion per year.
As part of the Ontario government’s plan to tackle auto insurance fraud, the government will develop standard treatment plans for injuries such as sprains and whiplash. It will also create independent, neutral examinations centres to provide medical assessments for more serious injuries, and will establish a Serious Fraud Office to investigate fraud.
Personal injury lawyers said this plan will make it harder for injury victims trying to file claims, and that it will not adequately meet their needs for treatment.
Canadian businesses are going cashless
A growing number of independent retailers across Canada are choosing to go completely cashless. A recent story from CBC News highlighted a trend amongst retailers, such as a ramen shop in Vancouver and Ontario salad company Mad Radish, of accepting non-cash payments only via credit and debit cards.
According to the Bank of Canada, while cash is still legal tender, retailers don’t have to accept bills and coins as payment.
While cash is still king with consumers, there’s evidence that Canadians are rapidly switching to other payment methods including cards, and digital payment systems.
Baby Boomers are supporting next-gen homebuyers
A new report from Sotheby’s International revealed that Canadian Boomers’ massive inheritance of wealth could have a multi-level effect on Canadian real estate. Boomers are set to inherit as much as $750 billion in the next decade, as part of the “largest intergenerational wealth transfer in Canadian history.”
One of the most notable outcomes of this wealth transfer is the Boomers’ support of the next generation of Canadian homebuyers through gifts the sharing of a “living inheritance.” According to the Sotheby’s survey, 33 per cent of Boomer respondents have either already handed down a living inheritance, or plan to in the future. Of those who have already shared inheritance, 25 per cent shared between $50,000 and $100,000 with their children.