According to analysis by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), the total number of regulations affecting landlords has increased to 156, up from 118 when the Conservative-led coalition government came to power.
The association warned that the increase in legislation had not led to an improvement in enforcement action against criminal landlords and said many councils were not properly using the powers they already have.
Previous research by the association found that in 2017/18, two thirds of councils had not commenced any prosecutions against private landlords.
In the same year, 89 per cent of councils told the RLA they had not used new powers to issue Civil Penalties of up to £30,000 against private landlords.
Some 53 per cent did not have a policy in place to properly use the power.
Due to this the RLA is calling on political parties in the election to commit to improving enforcement of the powers rather than introduce new legislation.
In its manifesto for the general election, the association proposed getting rid of licensing schemes which it said “served only to penalise good landlords” while allowing “criminals” to operate unnoticed.
The association said along with the data already available to councils, this needed to be backed up by central government providing a multi-year funding settlement to resource enforcement.
David Smith, policy director for RLA, said: “Removing criminal landlords from the sector will only be achieved if councils have the resources and the will to properly use the wide range of powers they already have.
“Piling more regulations onto the sector which will continue not to be properly enforced is meaningless and serves only to put off good landlords from providing the homes to rent we need.”
“It is time for smarter enforcement, not more regulation,” he added.