The landlord organisation is keen to point out that some laws, including the the Landlord and Tenant Act 1730 and the Distress for Rent Act 1737, date back to the 18th century as it looks to demonstrate the need for reform.
The NRLA argues that far from the private rented sector being under-regulated, the sheer number of laws means councils are unable to enforce them properly.
The NRLA makes reference to old data, dating back to 2017/18, which found that 89% of local authorities reported issuing no civil penalties against private landlords. Yet, over half said they did not have a civil penalty policy in place.
With the government committed to developing a new White Paper on the PRS in the autumn, the NRLA is calling for a full assessment of the ability of councils to enforce the wide range of powers already available to them.
It is warning that proposals to improve the sector for tenants and responsible landlords will be critically undermined if regulations cannot be enforced properly, which would serve only to help those providing sub-standard accommodation.
It is calling also for a full review by the Law Commission of the current laws applying to the sector to establish if they are fit for purpose, and to propose updated and potentially consolidated legislation fit for the 21st century.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “The laws underpinning the private rented sector are not fit for purpose. They are failing to protect responsible landlords and tenants from the actions of those who bring the sector into disrepute.
“As Ministers consider further reforms it is urgent that we understand the ability of councils to properly enforce these as well as existing regulations. We also need to use this opportunity to ensure laws reflect the realities of a modern private rented sector.”