The market may be set to be flooded with a swathe of former buy-to-lets, the National Landlords Association claims.
The trade body’s latest quarterly landlord panel of 1,043 members, found 19% intend to sell some of their property.
The NLA said this equates to up to 380,000 landlords looking to offload property.
Almost half, 45%, of those intending to sell said they would get rid of individual flats and apartments, with a third looking to sell terrace homes.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, said: “These findings sound like positive news for potential new home owners, but the reality is not everyone wants, or is in a position financially, to buy.
“In fact, if all these homes are sold as planned then it will lead to a significant fall in the supply of property available to those who choose to rent, or have no other option but to rent.
“Everyone seems to have a gut instinct about the extent to which they feel landlords and first-time buyers compete for homes in the UK, but home-ownership is a highly emotive issue so the facts are often overlooked.
“There’s certainly no denying that competition exists, but the significant barriers to home ownership are more likely to be the high cost of a deposit or ability to access mortgage finance.”
The NLA has also released a report and video calling on the Government to encourage more flexible tenancies and to stop taxing landlords so harshly, so that a choice of different housing tenures remains.