A government unit investigating complaints against landlords has been accused of being toothless after 600 probes resulted in just five landlords being fined a total of $81,000.

Advocacy group Renters United said the figures showed the Tenancy Compliance and Investigation Team (TCIT) were only scratching the surface of problem landlords.

“I don’t think these kind of horrendous breaches are that common, but they are definitely happening more frequently than just five a year around the entire country,” organiser Robert Whitaker said.

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