All private landlords would have to be registered before letting residential property under government plans to curb abuses in the growing rental market.

Easy access to buy-to-let mortgages over the past decade has meant that the number of private landlords has risen to about one million in England and Wales, and ministers are worried that a growing number of unscrupulous landlords are exploiting tenants.

Anyone letting a residential property would have to pay about £50 to register with a national body. This would include developers, buy-to-let investors and the growing ranks of “accidental landlords” who cannot sell their homes and have been forced to let them out instead.

The Times