Rogue letting agents and landlords should either mend their ways or quit the market.
The call has come from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), which says tenant demand will continue to outstrip supply this year, with more families opting – or having – to rent.
Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA, said the situation will be particularly acute in London and the South-East.
He said: “This increased demand will put quality and standards under a greater spotlight.
“This year, it will be time for unscrupulous agents and landlord to put up or shut up.
“Consumers are rightly calling for much higher standards in the private rented sector.”
He claimed: “We are seeing demand for licensed ARLA agents grow amongst tenants and landlords alike.”
Potter also said there will be no slowdown in rent levels: “When it comes to rent levels, as long as the shortage of housing stock continues, it is unlikely that there will be any relief on rising rents throughout 2013.
“Indeed, in urban areas the demand for single-person occupancies may well continue throughout 2013, which will increase the existing pressure on high-demand properties and areas.”