Chancellor Philip Hammond to scrap letting agent fees in today's Autumn Statement

 
Mark Sands
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Hammond will deliver the Autumn Statement later this afternoon (Source: Getty)

Chancellor Philip Hammond will today deliver a package of reforms aimed at raising living standards, including the latest increases for the National Living Wage.

But it's not such good news for British landlords, who will suffer a blow with letting agent fees in the firing line. Hammond is expected to ban them, in what the government sees as a move to stop households in private rental housing facing hundreds of pounds in upfront charges.

Landlords can levy these charges on tenants, and these can include administrative services like checking references or renewing a tenancy.

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Research from consumer group Citizens Advice found letting agents charged fees as high as £337 on average, and in some instances up to £700.

Hammond is set to deliver the Autumn Statement at lunchtime today, with groups of people termed as “Just About Managing”, or JAMs, among those he will target.

Hammond will put the cost of housing in the spotlight, with measures expected to include £1.4bn of cash to help build 40,000 new homes, as well as a relaxation of rules around how affordable housing money can be used.

He will also announce the latest increase in the National Living Wage, first established by his predecessor George Osborne in 2015.

Read More: Living wage boost secures inflation-busting pay rises

The living wage, which was expected to reach £9 per hour by 2020, launched at £7.20, and will increase to £7.50 from April 2017, with Hammond announcing a further £4.3m in funding for enforcement.

Hammond will also move to reduce the taper on Universal Credits, benefiting roughly 3m households.

The chancellor has already touted plans to spend £1.3bn on roads and transport links, as well as a further £1bn for the UK's broadband infrastructure.

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