Tax changes will mean landlords may reduce the properties they have on their books, leading to sharp rent rises, surveyors suggest.
Rental prices could rise faster than house prices over the next five years, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
This would be the result of more tenants chasing fewer rental properties, it said.
Stamp duty and other tax changes have affected the buy-to-let sector.
The survey was conducted before the release of the government’s plans this week regarding the housing market, including investigating longer-term tenancies for renters.
Jeremy Blackburn, Rics head of policy, said ministers had listened to Rics’ views on giving the private rental sector more priority alongside owner-occupation. He said supply in the market needed a “turbo boost”.
The survey also found that house prices continued to edge up across the UK in January, and were expected to continue rising across most parts of the UK over the next 12 months, with the exception of London.
Rics said the number of properties for sale across the country remained close to historic lows, but surveyors on balance expected a rise in demand from home buyers rather than a fall over the coming months.