When you’re renting a house using a real estate agent or an intermediate often you will be asked to pay not only intermediation costs, but also all kinds of additional fees. Read this so you won’t pay for anything you’re not supposed to (legally) pay for.
You’ve just arrived in the Netherlands and there’s a lot of things you need to arrange. On top of your list is probably a place to live. There are plenty of real estate agents and intermediates who are offering their help to find you a nice place to rent, but realize: they’re all in it for the money and some of them are not hesitant to use your lack of knowledge of Dutch housing law to make some extra cash. Whenever your guide on the renting market asks you to pay any of the fees listed below, be very critical:
Key fees(sleutelgeld): Illegal
Sometimes the landlord or the previous renter ask the new renter to pay a certain amount for the transfer of the key (the actual iron thing). Not only is this as ridiculous as it sounds, also asking money to give a renter what he’s entitled to by the contract is illegal.
Should you already have paid key money? If you can prove you did, you can reclaim the money using a legal procedure.
Subscription fees (inschrijfgeld): Legal, if reasonable
Mediators may require you to pay a subscription fee for their website, for instance. This is allowed, as long as the amount can be considered reasonable. In general subscription fees over 100 euros are considered disproportional and a case of so-called hidden intermediation costs.
Administration fees (administratiekosten): Legal, if reasonable
Administration fees are allowed as long as the amount charged are a representation of the effort the mediator made. An example is arranging permits. Illegibly charged administration fees can be reclaimed through a legal procedure.