Only one in five landlords are prepared to let their properties to people on Universal Credit or housing benefits, according to the latest poll.
The National Landlords Association has joined a growing chorus calling for the new system to be put on hold while changes are made to the way it works.
Research by the NLA among its members comes as the government suffered a 'symbolic defeat' in the House of Commons over their rollout of the Universal Credit system.
The survey found the proportion of landlords willing to let their property to housing benefit claimants has fallen to just 20%, down from 34% in 2013.
It also found two in three landlords who let to housing benefit recipients say they have fallen behind on rental payments in the last 12 months.
The NLA says problems include communicating with the Universal Credit administrators and the time it takes to secure payment to landlords.
It says the six weeks tenants must wait for the benefit means they are two-months in rent arrears by the time of the first payment.
NLA chief executive officer Richard Lambert said: 'If the Government is serious about helping then it needs to press pause on the roll out of Universal Credit, and fix its underlying problems.'