Local authorities should beef up inspection and establish an NCT-style certification system for the private rental housing market, according to the housing agency Threshold.
In its pre-Budget submission yesterday, the charity said the Government must make the supply of affordable housing a priority.
Citing a recent survey of its clients, Threshold found that termination of tenancy by landlords was a key concern as it was leading to homelessness.
Along with the dearth of supply, it said, substandard accommodation was also a major issue, along with the lack of resources for local authorities to carry out inspections and enforce standards.
"The enforcement of minimum standards is essential and we are calling on the Government to introduce a gradual ban on renting properties that do not meet minimum standards," said Threshold's CEO John-Mark McCafferty.
"As part of this measure, we are also restating our call for an NCT-type certification system for private rented housing, to be monitored by the local authorities."
He added that the Government should also bring in a rent deposit protection scheme along with introducing an affordable rental accommodation scheme.
Threshold is also calling for tax breaks to "small-scale landlords" in exchange for quality, affordable accommodation.