The Local Government Association has called for a "new streamlined system" to deal with rogue landlords who they say are not being deterred by current measures.
Mike Jones, who chairs the Local Government Association's environment and housing board, said:
The current system for prosecuting rogue landlords is not fit for the 21st century.
Criminal landlords are exploiting this and endangering tenants' lives. They are treating the paltry fines as 'operating costs', which they are offsetting against the vast profits they are raking in.
We need a system which protects the good landlords, whose reputation is being dragged down by the bad ones.
...Councils are doing everything they can to tackle the rising levels of rogue landlords caused by the housing crisis. However, they are being hamstrung by a system racked by delays, bureaucracy and feeble fines.
More top news
The number of children in care has increased to its highest level for nearly 25 years, the Government's spending watchdog has said.
Abuse victims are being put through "torture" by the pace at which the Government's inquiry into abuse is progressing, an MP has said.
The number of diabetic and severely overweight patients having weight loss surgery needs to triple to help the future of the NHS, Nice said.