Tens of thousands of tenants who paid commission fees to a property finder can take legal action to recover the money, the Telegraaf said on Wednesday.
The news stems from a ruling by the Dutch consumers authority ACM which says rental property brokers cannot charge both tenant and landlord a fee for agreeing a contract to rent a property.
‘This ruling has major consequences for property agents who have scored from both sides over the past few years,’ tenants’ rights campaigner Gert Jan Bakker told the Telegraaf. ‘This means tens of thousands of tenants can claim back agency fees on the basis of legislation and jurisprudence.’
One month’s rent
The practice of charging both landlords and tenants fees is particularly prevalent in the big cities and often amounts to one month’s rent, the ACM says.
The ACM looked at the case following complaints against several rental housing agencies, including NederWoon Verhuurmakelaars and Rots Vast. They have pledged to change their way of working from next January.
On the ACM’s website the organisation states property rental companies are allowed to charge potential tenants a fee to write themselves in at the agency.
However, if they are working on behalf of the landlord – by organising visits and placing photographs of properties on their website – they cannot charge commission for organising a tenancy.
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