New rules to help crack down on rogue landlords in England have come into force.
Councils are now able to impose fines of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for various housing offences.
They will be able to retain the income to make sure it is used for private sector housing enforcement purposes.
Rent repayment orders, which can be issued to penalise landlords managing or letting unlicensed properties, have also been extended to cover a wider range of situations.
These include the illegal evictions or harassment of the occupiers of a property, using violence to secure entry and the breach of a banning order.
Letting agents' fees will also be banned to give renters greater clarity and control over what they will pay.
The Government recently released a housing white paper to help home buyers and renters.
Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: "These measures will give councils the additional powers they need to tackle poor quality rental homes in their area.
"By driving out of business those rogue landlords that continue to flout the rules, we can raise standards, improve affordability and give tenants the protections they need.”