Shelter has welcomed a government announcement that legislation on houses in multiple occupation is to be introduced "as quickly as possible".
Rules to license such houses, which are notorious for bad landlords and poor conditions, would represent a long awaited victory for Shelter.
The comments were made by Lord Rooker in the House of Lords. "The department is working on this legislation - it is not on the back burner," he said.
"We are actively pursuing legislation, which will be introduced as quickly as possible."
Meanwhile, Shelter has teamed up with an array of organisations, including landlords and tenants, to agree a range of measures to improve the private rented sector.