A new inquiry has been launched into the private rented sector.

It will specifically look at the area of enforcement by local authorities, including whether councils have adequate powers to intervene when rental properties are sub-standard or dangerous, whether licensing schemes are working, and whether tenants are able to complain effectively.

Announcing the inquiry, Clive Betts, chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, 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 inquiry closes on November 24.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said he welcomed the inquiry.

He said: “This is a great opportunity to review enforcement in the private rented sector. For years successive governments have introduced law after law with no evaluation of their effectiveness.

“With what now appears to be a coherent strategy on the regulation of the private rented sector coming from the Government, it is an ideal time to review what has worked and what hasn’t.”