Discounted market rent (or DMR for short) is a new type of affordable housing for the rental market. It allows build-to-rent developers to offer affordable apartments to rent at a large discount to the market price. This means that rental developers can fulfil their obligation to provide affordable housing without having to build a separate block and hand it over to a housing association. Instead, developers can focus on building one development with the same specification and quality throughout and then earmark certain apartments for the discounted market rent scheme.

What does this mean for renters?

This is a fantastic option for renters who are in need of good quality affordable housing. It’s designed specifically for those on the lowest incomes; those who can’t afford London’s rental prices and certainly can’t afford to buy a property.

Instead of these renters being stuck with the basic quality and questionable service levels of some of London’s housing associations, they can live in a top quality, brand new home managed by a professional landlord.

In other words, they get the exact same product, service and experience as everyone else living in the building – regardless of how much they’re paying. There are no poor doors and no differences in service, so everyone can live side-by-side on equal terms.

How big is the discount?

The discount for DMR varies for each developer. It’s decided on a case-by-case basis in partnership with the local council as part of the planning process.

Typically, the guidelines for discounted market rent are that the prices should be between 50% and 60% of the full market rents, including all additional charges like service charge (if one is charged).

This means that renters eligible for DMR can expect a whopping discount of 40- 50%.

Who is eligible for DMR apartments?

Eligibility for discounted market rent varies from development to development and council to council. But typically, a council will expect applicants to meet two main criteria:

  • Either live or work within the borough
  • Have an annual household income within a certain range

There are exceptions to this if applicants can’t be immediately found, but generally, those that meet this criteria will get first dibs.

Do Essential Living offer discounted market rent?

Yes, we do! Our latest development, Union Wharf in Greenwich, is our first scheme offering discounted market rent homes.

There are 52 apartments up for grabs, from 1-beds through to larger 2- and 3- bedroom flats that are perfect for families.

All these apartments are brand new and of a high specification. And everyone who rents one will also get access to the shared amenities on the top floors of each building. These spaces include:

  • Roof terraces with panoramic views of London
  • Gym with on-site personal trainers
  • Lounge area with comfy seating, workspaces and a pool table
  • Bookable dining room for hosting your next dinner party
  • Soft play area and creative space for children

So if you live or work in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and have a household income between £24,986 and £60,000, apply here and you might just bag yourself a desirable new home.


Mark Flint


Mark is a regular contributor to the Essential Living blog and shares all the latest news and sourcing the very best content for our customers.