The policy director of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling on local councils to use the 'extensive powers' they have to root out rogue landlords and agents.
Commenting to mark the launch of the University of York's report on private rented housing, David Smith says one of the major problems facing the sector is poor enforcement of regulations.
He says that RLA PEARL research shows that less than half of councils have a policy on the use of civil penalties against private landlords.
Smith adds that the RLA shares concerns raised in the report that legislation surrounding the market is complex.
"Tenants, landlords and local authorities all need to clearly understand their roles, responsibilities and the powers available to tackle poor housing. For many this has become difficult to achieve," he says.
The RLA policy chief is calling for a 'root and branch' review of private rental market regulations to understand if they are achieving what they were originally intended for.
"There is no point passing new laws and regulations if the existing ones are not being enforced properly."