Under Government plans rogue landlords will be banned from renting tiny bedrooms and licencing rules will be extended to cover flats above shops.
Measures being planning by Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell could also include the "fit and proper person" test for landlords being tightened up, with more stringent criminal record checks.
Under the plans, which will only apply in England, the minimum room size allowed in shared homes will be 6.52 square metres.
According to Mr Barwell: "In order to build a country that truly works for everyone we must ensure that everyone has somewhere safe and secure to live. These measures will give councils the powers they need to tackle poor-quality rental homes in their area.
"By driving rogue landlords that flout the rules out of business, we are raising standards and giving tenants the protection they need."
A consultation on the proposals also sets out plans to ensure mandatory licensing rules apply to all shared homes with five or more people from two or more households.
The rules will also apply to flats above and below shops as well as other business premises. At present licensing only applies for homes with three or more floors and excludes properties attached to businesses, unless they are in a three storey building.
Ministers are also discussing whether the current licensing rules for purpose-built student accommodation are appropriate.