Lawmakers have launched a probe to see if councils have enough powers to deal with rogue landlords.
The inquiry will also gauge how tenant complaints are handled and if landlord licensing is effective in raising private rental standards, and eliminating bad practice.
The Parliamentary Communities and Local Government Committee will oversee the investigation.
Chairman Clive Betts MP said:
“With a big rise in the number of people renting over the last decade, there are real concerns about the ability of local authorities to protect tenants by tackling bad landlords and practices.
“Our inquiry will examine how local authorities can carry out enforcement work to deal with rogue landlords as well as looking at approaches used by councils to provide private rented accommodation in their areas.”
The committee is inviting written evidence covering several points:
- Do councils have powers and resources to enforce standards in the private rented sector?
- What are the obstacles to effective intervention in the private rented sector?
- How effective are landlord licensing schemes in promoting higher quality accommodation?
- What approaches have councils taken to promote affordable private rented accommodation in their areas?
- How effective are complaint procedures for tenants who rent privately?
Submissions for the inquiry should be with the committee by midday on Friday 24 November 2017.
Some of these points have been shunted into a cul-de-sac as the Department of Communities and Local Government is granting new powers for councils to ban bad landlords and letting agents. Letting agent regulation is also due to tighten.
The committee says the current inquiry follows on from a 2013 report recommending the government should act to clean up the private rented sector.
They called for longer tenancies, simpler laws for landlords and private rented homes and letting agent regulation.