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What is Discount Market Rent (DMR)?

10 June 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 2 min
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Simon Banks

The UK is becoming that little bit more expensive to find a rental home, which means tenants need to dig deeper into their pockets. In the 12 months to April 2019, rental prices across the nation increased by 1.2%.

London has fared slightly worse than the rest of the UK, with asking rents reaching an all-time high by the fourth quarter of 2018. While there are still plenty of affordable areas in the capital, there is no doubt Londoners are required to pay more than their UK counterparts.

It’s not all bad news, however. Build-to-rent (BTR) is becoming an increasingly popular method of renting in the UK, and discount market rent (DMR) is a new type of affordable housing that is associated with BTR.

But what exactly is discount market rent?

DMR Explained

DMR allows build-to-rent developers the opportunity to provide affordable rental apartments at a significant discount to market prices. They can fulfil their obligations to provide affordable housing without needing to construct separate housing association blocks.

As a result, developments feature unified specifications and are the same build quality. A portion of the newly built apartments are then earmarked for the discounted market rent scheme, which sees some people renting apartments for reduced prices.

What DMR Means for Renters

The private rental market is a source of enormous debate - especially in London, where everyone seems to have their say on how to make renting more affordable in the capital. DMR doesn’t live in a think tank, nor is it somewhere on a 10-step blueprint guide for how to make renting better. It’s very much a reality.

The scheme is designed for people on lower incomes, those who are priced out of the rental market having already seen their chances of buying a property ruled out. DMR will see renters able to afford good quality-housing, rather than the housing association being their only option.

How to Apply for DMR

One of the current BMR schemes in London is Union Wharf, which is located in the popular southeast London area of Greenwich. Here, requirements see renters needing a joint income of between £34,986 and £60,000. They also need to already live or work in the Borough of Greenwich. 

Property developer Greystar have different requirements, with their earnings slightly higher at £90,000 . The rules for DMR vary for each developer and council. Development owners work closely with local councils to set the requirements for the discounted market rent scheme. 

How Much is the Discount?

The exact amount you pay varies depending on the developer, and a figure is concluded case-by-case. General guidelines indicate between 50% and 60% less than full market rents.

For example, Union Wharf typically charges around £1,603 for a one-bedroom apartment. With the discount, however, renters can expect to pay just £583 for the same quality apartments with exactly the same services.

A Recap on Build-to-Rent

Built-to-rent isn’t a particularly new scheme, though it is one that has burst into the limelight over the past couple of years. Whereas traditional letting involves renting a home from a private landlord and dealing with them or the appointed management company directly, build-to-rent sees you renting straight from the developer.

The developers build residential developments with the purpose of renting out each apartment under their own watch. They appoint a management company (or do it themselves) to look after building maintenance, and everything takes place under one roof. A direct team is in place to deal with renter queries, making the entire process much more seamless.

On top of that, build to rent developments emphasise community and provide a range of extras, such as flexible contracts, pet-friendly properties and on-site amenities.

A Better Renting Future

With talk of controlled rents, and the tenant fee ban coming into effect, the future looks bright for renters in the capital and beyond. DMR adds to the reasons for optimism and is a bona find a way to improve the quality of life for those who need it most.

Plenty of build-to-rent developments are popping up all over London - many of which can be found on Movebubble One, our dedicated page of quality homes designed specifically for renting.


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