Councils have been told to up their game to protect tenants from a minority of landlords providing sub-standard accommodation.
The call, being made by the Residential Landlords Association, comes following a Citizens Advice report claiming that, while many landlords respond swiftly to concerns raised about housing conditions, a minority are still taking too long to resolve problems.
With more than 140 Acts of Parliament, containing over 400 regulations affecting the private rented sector, the RLA is calling on councils to use the extensive powers they already have to root out the criminal landlords who have no place in the sector.
A RLA Freedom of Information request last year, with responses from 237 councils in England and Wales, found that 126 had brought no prosecutions against landlords between 2011 and 2014.
“Every tenant has the right to expect a safe, legal and secure home. Whilst the majority of landlords provide a good service to their tenants, there are a minority who do not, and who have no place in a modern rental sector” says Alan Ward, RLA chairman.
“Councils have the powers to do something about them. What is needed is a greater will to use these powers to root out the criminal landlords once and for all.”