Many apartments or rooms that are rented out to expats or students are found through agencies. Agencies often ask tenants to pay a fee to them but according to the Dutch law in most cases this is not permitted. If a tenant does not pay the fee, often they are refused as a tenant. So a lot of tenants pay those fees to secure a contract. If you have paid a contract fee, you can contact Huurteam Zuid-Limburg.
If a house is advertised by an agency there is the assumption that the agency is working for the landlord. Because there is a conflict of interest between the landlord and the tenant, the agency can not represent both parties and therefore it is not allowed to ask for an agency fee. If you already paid the agency fee, you may be able to claim a refund.
Sometimes agencies refer to an agency fee as contract costs, administration costs, administration fees, etc. This is also not allowed and you can claim back these costs.
If you rented the apartment through an agency, you can start a process against the agency if they are working for the landlord and advertised the apartment or room. To start a procedure to claim back these costs you need to start with a letter to the agency.
This letter needs to include the following information:
- The agency was working for the landlord and therefore you were not obliged to pay an agency fee.
- You want a refund within 15 days of the date on your letter.
- If the agency does not comply you can start legal procedures, taking the matter to court or send in a complaint to the municipality (via Huurteam Zuid-Limburg).