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'Tenants look after HMOs better when they're fitted with posh furniture'

cosi living guaranteed rent

A twenty-something entrepreneurial pair aim to shake up the HMO sector by building on their upmarket guaranteed rent model.

Liverpool-based Cosi Living founders Joe Duggan, 24 and Olivia Maher, 25, (main picture) only rented their first property as a lockdown project in May 2020, but already manage 256 rooms and tenants across 60 properties in the city.

'We take on a house that's run down and where the landlord is getting voids and might be thinking of selling,'� Maher tells LandlordZONE. 'We improve its value by spending between �10,000-�15,000 putting in a new kitchen and decorating and then manage it for the landlord in a guaranteed rent package.'�

The company commits to properties for five or seven years and makes a profit by turning a �300 room into one that can command �500.

Any old stuff

'A lot of people have the mindset of putting any old stuff into HMOs, but we make sure ours are furnished to a high standard '� that way, tenants look after them,'� she explains.

'We also care about our tenants and are hands on. For example, if we find there's a blocked drain during an inspection, we'll ask the tenants to sort it out, so it doesn't get left and becomes a bigger problem for the landlord.'�

Cosi Living typically rents to groups of students and single tenants, who it is careful to house sympathetically in its HMOs, so that young girls wouldn't be housed with an older man, for example. This has resulted in some tenants staying on since the beginning.

Growing demand

And with growing demand in the sector, the firm has plans to expand and is hiring a finance and admin assistant, portfolio manager and an operations assistant/general manager, taking the number of full-time staff to six.

'We have a passion for property and plan to become one of the leading HMO agents in Liverpool before expanding to other UK cities,'� she adds.


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