Autumn Statement: Letting fees are due to be scrapped and renters can't quite believe their luck


Anyone who's moved flats knows the indescribable pain of paying both a deposit and a month's rent upfront - followed by the final indignity of the letting agency fee.

So good news, renters, as Chancellor Philip Hammond is set to scrap the charges in his Autumn Statement.

Philip Hammond will announce his first Autumn Statement
Philip Hammond will announce his first Autumn Statement today (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Letting fees cost an average of £337, according to Citizens Advice, for services such as drawing up tenancy agreements or credit and reference checks.

It is claimed the move will stop 4.3 million families in private rentals being hit by upfront charges running into hundreds of pounds.

Long-suffering tenants are rejoicing.

For some the timing isn't great though.

Others are asking for even more to be done.

Critics, including the housing minister, have said the costs will just be funnelled back to tenants through their rent.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "Fees have gone up 60% in the last five years, with people paying over £300 to letting agents for what is often basic administration, such as checking references and running credit checks.

"We've been highlighting the need to get rid of these fees for some time so we're pleased the Government has taken action on this issue."