Local authorities across the country are to receive new online support in what the Government has said is the latest step in its crackdown on criminal landlords.

Two new guidance documents have been published – one is aimed at local authority enforcement officers, and the other for tenants and landlords.

Publication follows a national roll-out of workshops for enforcement officers.

Housing minister Heather Wheeler said: “This package of support for those working on the front line of the private rented sector will ensure they are fully equipped to make use of any new powers which can improve the lives of tenants trapped in poor quality accommodation.

“This, along with our further guidance for tenants and landlords on their rights and responsibilities, builds on the ongoing work which sets out to make renting fairer and more accessible for all whilst also ensuring that everyone has a home which is safe and secure.”

Simple Landlords Insurance head of operations Richard Truman welcomed the additional support, but pointed out that research carried out by Simple Landlords Insurance, found councils already swamped by the burden of new rules.

“Traditionally, landlords can be resistant to regulation as it can make daily landlord life more difficult,” he said.

“But many are increasingly seeing the lack of structure and national standards as part of the problem.

“We want to see the emerging class of professional landlords supported by central government and local authorities with effective regulations that will require additional resources.”