Private landlords and councils need to work more closely with each other, according to the shadow housing minister Grant Shapps.

Commenting during a discussion with homeless charity Crisis and the National Landlords Association (NLA) at the Conservative Party conference, the politician claimed he welcomes working with landlord groups.

In response, NLA chairman David Salusbury said that local authorities must be encouraged to use their existing powers "appropriately", as opposed to introducing more regulation.

By completing this "final piece in the jigsaw", the landlord representative noted, good landlords will not be penalised.

"We are also encouraged that the shadow housing minister is looking forward to working with the NLA,"he added.

Last week, the Essex Echo reported that private landlords in Southend are coming under greater scrutiny by the local council in order to ensure property professionals are providing adequate housing for tenants in the town.

Written by Claire Doyle

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