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Autumn Statement: Londoners to save hundreds as letting agents fees scrapped

Chancellor Philip Hammond has given his first ever budget speech - but what EXACTLY does it mean for you?

Sky high letting agents fees will be scrapped under the new budget proposals set out by Chancellor Philip Hammond, and the move could save Londoners hundreds of pounds.

In his first Autumn Statement under Theresa May's government, Mr Hammond said: "We’ve seen these fees spiral despite attempts to regulate them." He added that "this is wrong".

He told the House of Commons: "Landlords appoint letting agents and landlords should meet their fees."

The Chancellor ended his speech by saying: "We are a great nation, bold in our vision, confident in our strengths, and determined in our ambition to build a country that works for everyone."

Brent renters who live in 'some of London's worst conditions' urge Mayor to fund new letting agency

The move has been welcomed by London renters who often pay administration fees when moving home, including credit and immigration checks, costs for contacting references and agency tenancy agreement fees.

According to Shelter, the average Londoner spends near £2,000 upfront on agency fees, advance rent and other moving administration costs.

The changes are said to save around 4.3 million households hundreds of pounds.

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Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: "Millions of renters in England have felt the financial strain of unfair letting agent fees for far too long, so we’re delighted with the government’s decision to ban them.

"We’ve long been campaigning on this issue and it’s great to see that the government has taken note."

Mr Robb added: "Our recent survey found that nearly half of renters had been asked to pay fees that they thought were too high, with many having to borrow money every time they move, so this will make a huge difference to all those scraping by in our expensive, unstable renting market."

What were the key changes from the Autumn statement?

The statement highlighted changes which will affect the city

Other key points mentioned by Chancellor Philip Hammond include:

  • National Living Wage to rise from £7.20 an hour to £7.50 from April next year
  • £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas
  • Fuel duty rise cancelled for seventh year in succession
  • £1.1bn extra investment in English local transport networks and £220m to reduce traffic "pinch points"
  • Funding for 2,500 more prison officers
  • Universal Credit taper rate to be cut from 65% to 63% from April at a cost of £700m

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