A local council claims it has received over 500 complaints from private rental tenants since the start of April - approaching the 645 number it got for the entire previous financial year.
Local media reports say that Labour controlled Brighton & Hove council have not ruled out civil penalty notices being issued on rogue landlords.
Over 30 per cent of the housing stock in the area is privately rented.
“Our aims for compliance are to provide assistance, information and education, working with landlords, lettings and management companies, tenants and owners of long-term or nuisance empty properties and other interested parties to help them comply with regulatory requirements and laws” a report to the council’s housing committee has said.
“If such requirements are not met, we will target enforcement action using a risk-based approach and relevant intelligence to make sure that we prioritise the most urgent cases.”
The report goes on to say: “A lot of work is carried out with landlords to try to avoid formal enforcement action. The purpose of this policy is for those few cases where a more formal approach is required to ensure properties are safe and well managed. Fees, charges and fines will be imposed where landlords fail to comply with requests and these are calculated to cover reasonable expenses incurred.
“In addition, civil penalties will also be considered, which are an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences under the Housing Act 2004, and the maximum penalty is £30,000.”