Tuesday 22 September 2020

Housing agents must be clear about extra services, consumer watchdog says

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch consumers authority says it is to crack down on rental housing agents who try to include extra services, such as organising permits or gas and electricity, as part of their normal service.

While there is nothing wrong with agencies offering to provide such services, prospective tenants must be free to accept or reject the offer, the ACM said on Thursday.

ACM research shows that services are increasingly becoming part of the total fee, and tenants are not being given a choice about whether or not to request them.

Housing agents who continue to flout the rules could be fined up to €600,000 or 7.5% of their average annual turnover.

‘People looking for a rental home are vulnerable in the current market,’ said the ACM’s consumer affairs director Edwin van Houten. ‘This is why we are taking action against housing agents who bring in illegal costs, whatever form they take.’

The ACM earlier got tough on agents who were charging both tenants and landlords a fee for finalising tenancies.

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