Since 2010, the number of regulations affecting private landlords have increased by 32% to 156, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has found.
The RLA has warned the rise in legislation has not led to an improvement in enforcement action against criminal landlords and many councils are failing to properly use the powers they already have.
It has called for political parties to commit to improving the enforcement of the powers already available rather than introducing new legislation.
David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, 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.”