Two years ago Merton Council said it was "committed to improving the quality of housing in the private rental sector."

But since then the number of safety checks carried out in the borough has declined at a staggering rate.

According to a Freedom of Information submitted by the Wimbledon Guardian the council has not prosecuted a single unsafe landlord since the start of 2017.

The report also revealed the council only carried out 67 Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) inspections last year and 59 so far this year.

With nearly 26,000 households in rented accommodation as of now, this means roughly only one home for every 380 in rented accommodation were inspected.

This is a steep decline from the 2013/14 financial year where 179 of the checks were carried out, or one in every 140.

Martin Whelton cabinet member for regeneration, housing and transport said the council was trying to create a system where landlords will provide safe living standards without the threat of prosecution.

"Private sector housing is an important provision within Merton and it is recognised that the majority will be in good condition and well managed," he said.

"The council takes it responsibility seriously to deal with hazards in private sector housing and aims to ensure that high standards are met.

"Our aims as a council are not limited to prosecution but other measures which include informal action and the serving of statutory notices.

"The council is currently looking at the introduction of a landlord licensing scheme to drive up standards further and to improve the quality of accommodation in the private rented sector which will build upon the recently introduced house in multiple occupation licence.”

HHSRS inspections allow local authorities to identify any risks and hazards in rented accommodation, including examining water, gas and electricity installations, sanitation and drainage, food safety, ventilation and heating.

According to a similar FOI submitted by the London Assembly Liberal Democrat group, Merton was one of ten boroughs which did not prosecute any landlords for 2014/15.