Complaints about landlords made to local councils have increased by 27 per cent over the last three years, according to new figures from Shelter whose freedom of information request to all councils in England showed that over 85,000 complaints were made in the last 12 months. Of those, 62 per cent were about serious and life-threatening hazards.
There was also a large increase in the number of successful prosecutions against private landlords, up 77 per cent to 487.
Shelter is campaigning to make sure local councils clamp down on what they describe as "rogue landlords".
"Despite the significant increase in complaints, we believe that the number of rogue landlords is still underestimated," said the charity's Chief Executive Campbell Robb. "Some local authorities don’t keep records of complaints and tenants often hold back from complaining out of fear of the consequences or because they don’t believe their voices will be heard, even though such a high proportion of complaints are about life-threatening issues.
"It’s ultimately local authorities that must do everything in their power to support people who are suffering by cracking down on the worst offenders in their area."