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Agency fees are usually illegal
Most private landlords use a real estate agent to find a tenant for their property. The real estate agent then offers the landlord's home online, arranges the viewings and signing of the contract. These rental agents work for the landlord, and agents who work for the landlord are not allowed to charge any costs to the tenant. Yet this is still widely done by real estate agents.
How do you know if your agency fees were illegal?
It would be virtually impossible for a tenant to prove in black and white that a real estate agent works for the landlord. For that reason, the case law is satisfied with less strong evidence. In short, it is sufficient to prove that the real estate agent has done any work that somehow relieves/helps the landlord.
This is clearly the case if the real estate agent is the manager of the property, and therefore the point of contact for questions and complaints from tenants. But also receiving and checking the monthly rent payments is sufficient as proof that the real estate agent works for the landlord. The same applies to receiving the first month's rent or the deposit at the start of the contract. A last example is the online listing advertisement of the house that only mentions the contact information of the real estate agent, and not that of the landlord. In this way, the broker relieves the landlord of (at least) the first contact with interested parties in the home, and thus 'works' for the landlord.
And don't be fooled by concealing names such as 'key money' or administration costs. The broker is not allowed to charge any costs whatsoever to the tenant if he works for the landlord. The unjustified costs can be reclaimed up to five years later.
Square Rent will get your agency fees back
Square Rent will assess your situation and see if it is possible for you to get the agency fees back. We first try to negotiate with the real estate agent, and if necessary will start legal proceedings. We represent you in this and ensure compliance with the decision afterwards. We will do everything necessary to get the agency fees back for you.
We charge 50% of the refunded agency fees as our price. And if all Square Rent's efforts are not successful, you will of course not pay anything.
Rob has been renting a place since 4 years. He found this house through an online advertisement on a real estate agent's website. The ad only provided the real estate agent's contact details. So Rob came into contact with the real estate agent, who organized the viewing and the signing of the contract. In addition, Rob had to pay € 200 as 'key money'. This is illegal. Square Rent addresses the real estate agent and if necessary starts a legal procedure to get the fees back to Rob. Rob gets his € 200 refunded and pays Square Rent € 100 (50%) for this.