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
A woman involved in a car crash had to be taken to hospital by helicopter with serious injuries.
Search for missing seven-year-old underway after he was reportedly abandoned in a forest by his parents as "punishment" for throwing rocks.
Shooting of a 400-pound gorilla who grabbed a four-year-old boy after he entered his enclosure sparks public outrage and prompts petition.