Millions of people up and down the UK have faced problems with their landlords in recent times, with many feeling powerless.
Some 7.5 million people – 16% of the population – have encountered issues with their landlords in the last decade, research conducted by YouGov for Shelter has found.
Three million (41%) said they had attempted to talk to their landlord to alleviate the problem but felt they had been ignored.
Another 550,000 said they had not acted on problems as they were scared of the consequences of doing so.
The number of people renting in the UK has soared over the last five years, up by 40% to 3.4 million.
With credit still proving difficult to come by for people with small or no deposits, it is a number that is likely to continue to rise.
And with changes to housing benefits, there is concern that vulnerable families could be pushed to the bottom end of the unregulated private rental sector where a minority of rogue landlords could attempt to cash in.
Figures show that the vast majority of people think that landlords should be forced to comply with stricter rules that protect tenants.
"The Government has to recognise its responsibility to protect this vast and growing population of private tenants, especially as our research has proved that Generation Rent want better rules to protect them," said Campbell Rob, chief executive of Shelter.
"We urge the Housing Minister to work closely with all local authorities and ensure they are using every weapon in their armoury to crack down on unlawful operators.
"It is absolutely essential that we are sending a clear signal to tenants, landlords and local authorities that enforcing the law against rogue landlords is a priority."
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