"LIGHT-TOUCH" regulation and an unwillingness to enforce the law relating to rogue landlords is fuelling misery in communities, a campaigning lawyer has claimed.

On the eve of the launch of a major campaign to demand changes to how councils deal with privately rented properties, solicitor Mike Dailly has claimed there is a "malaise in the system" and a lack of resources within local government that have allowed the sector to develop largely unregulated.

On Saturday, The Herald reported how the number of private lets had trebled since the 1990s, with rates still climbing, leading campaigners to claim the associated problems are "undermining the fabric of buildings thought to be the very heart of entire communities".

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Tonight, a coalition of community groups and local activists launches a campaign – with a meeting at the Elim Church, near Cathcart Road on Glasgow's south side – designed to push the issue on to the political agenda before next May's elections.

The buy-to-let boom has also seen private rents spread from traditional student areas into outlying residential areas, and the group is looking to build links with activists in Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Mr Dailly, whose law centres in Govanhill and Govan deal with increasing numbers of landlord cases, said: "Communities across Scotland have to put up with landlords ignoring the law, getting away with it and making lots of money."