HMOs are rapidly gaining in popularity with a wider range of renters on a budget, according to the boss of one of the country’s largest property investment firms.

Mish Liyanage, founder and CEO of Mistoria Group, believes HMOs now appeal to more people including professionals, especially those who are progressing through their careers and want to keep costs down.

“Rentals are high, and not everybody can afford to live in the city centre for example, so HMOs become a viable and affordable option,” he tells

Demand has also remained strong throughout the pandemic, particularly in university towns and cities such as Liverpool and Manchester where HMOs continue to be the property of choice for students looking to live with friends.

Risk spread

Liyanage adds: “For investors, HMOs often provide higher yields compared to single-let properties, risk is spread and there is more than one source of income, and we expect to do work with more investors in this area over the next year.”

He has previously warned of the pitfalls of buying properties at auction to convert into HMOs, pointing to increasing numbers of investor landlords who face expensive legal battles when they try to recover losses, due to vendors misrepresenting the legal pack.

Liyanage says: “After going through the purchase process, investors are finding that the development or conversion plans they have proposed to carry out are no longer possible as there are sitting tenants, with no evidence that the deposits have been protected with an approved scheme.”

He advises investors who are considering buying property with tenants in situ via an auction to do their homework on the legal pack, especially the AST, well in advance.

Mistoria Group owns more than 100 residential and commercial properties and manages another 1,000 properties and 3,000 tenancies across the North West.


  1. I think it’s stretching it somewhat to suggest that renters WANT or CHOOSE to live in HMOs

    But there is certainly a massive, forced market for HMOs now — and it’s going to get much busier as new legislation comes in.

  2. Agree with both posts. We’ve let a self-contained studio recently twice to people who just wanted to get out of shared accommodation. Who really wants to share private facilities with people they don’t know?

  3. The rise in HMOs I think is also a result of the increased legislation. Costs increases for landlords
    means rents increase and more and more landlords leave the sector, again causing rents to increase. Landlords that remain in the sector can afford to charge more and be far more picky with the people they rent to . One of the results is that tenants that in the past would have rented a house now can’t afford to so their options become HMO .

    Another massive success for the likes of Shelter

  4. All this is complete twaddle.
    The VOA if they find out can value any room in an HMO where the tenant has an individual AST for Individual Council Tax Banding.

    That renders the HMO effectively unviable.

    Only a fool LL would risk such a business model.

    We are talking about just a normal room.

    The VOA is the proverbial Sword of Damocles hanging over dopey HMO LL.

    • You put in your AST a clause which states the Tenant is liable “should” their space be given its own council tax banding.

      Tenants really won’t have a choice on the matter going forward.

      Anyone who thinks the coming legislation is going to benefit tenants is nuts.

      Its going to penalise tenants and LLs.

      The LL has to charge more and the tenant has no choice but to pay it (as everywhere will be the same)

      Well done Shelter etc

  5. Of course, any location of interest to tourists has already seen lots of PRS properties shift to FHL and that trend is going to increase.


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