The housing and homelessness charity Shelter is urging councils to crack down on rogue landlords, as its research reveals that they continue to cause misery for tenants across England.
Shelter contacted every local authority in England to build a picture of both the scale of the problem with rogue landlords and what is being done to tackle it.
The results revealed:.
* Local authorities admit there are 1,477 known landlords who are giving them continued cause for concern and repeatedly making tenants’ lives a misery.
* Complaints about serious and potentially life-threatening hazards, including dangerous gas and electrics, have risen by 25 per cent over the past two years.
* Overall complaints about landlords have increased, rising to 86,628 in the last year.
* Despite the sharp increase in problems, just 270 successful prosecutions have been made by local authorities against landlords during the same period.
In response, Shelter has launched an interactive map showing some of England’s worst landlords.
Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said: "The reality is that rogue landlords are out there and they’re getting away with it.
"Every day at Shelter we see the devastating impact rogue landlords have on peoples’ lives as they remain trapped in homes that cause misery and, in some cases, put lives at risk.
"What’s more, we believe there could be thousands more tenants who are suffering in silence, holding back from complaining out of fear of the consequences or because they don’t feel their voices will be heard.
"Local authorities have the powers to tackle rogue landlords but too many aren’t making the most of their armoury", he contined. "They must follow the lead of those councils taking a zero tolerance approach to rogue landlords, and support tenants who are suffering by cracking down on the worst offenders in their area."
See Shelter's interactive map, Rogue Landlord Watch, here: http://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/evictroguelandlords