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Laguna Beach latest to freeze Airbnb, other short term rentals

Airbnb declined an interview request but issued the following statement about Santa Monica: "While we've responded to the city's notices, we continue exploring all options and remain hopeful that the city will revisit these misguided rules that harm middle-income Californians."
Chris Weeks/Getty Images
Airbnb, the online home-rental service, says it will start collecting hotel taxes in a few American cities.

Laguna Beach is the latest Southern California city to slap a moratorium on short-term rentals popularized by sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. The city council voted unanimously Tuesday to grant a 45-day stay on new requests for short-term rentals while it studies what to do in the long term. 

The move comes after city residents complained of an increase of loud parties, traffic congestion, littering, and vandalism, which several at the council meeting attributed to the growing popularity of the rental sites, the L.A. Times reports

The moratorium means the city won't grant any new permits to those wishing to rent out their homes for less than 30 days. That may not stem the problem, as few appear to be registering with the city in any case. 

The Times reports: 

In their report, the city council found dozens of complaints related to short-term rentals, and says its found some clever ways owners avoid penalties: 
You can read their full report here

Laguna Beach joins nearby cities Santa Monica and Aliso Viejo in enacting legislation against the popular rental sites. West Hollywood has also been considering an outright ban on short term rentals in their city.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti laid out a plan in his State of the City speech to tax Airbnb rentals and use the proceeds to create more affordable housing.