When you sign a rental contract, you must usually pay one month's rent in advance. But often you get some extra charges under various names such as deposit, contract costs, administration costs etc.
What are the reasonable costs?
It is common practice that the landlord requires a deposit to cover any costs due to damages to the property. If the house is in a good state at the end of the rental period, you will get back the deposit. The amount of the deposit is usually, but not always, one month rent.
Contract or other fees:
Many brokers charge a contract or administration fee for their work. This work takes about 2 hours and it is allowed to charge a fee for these costs, but this fee should be reasonable. In the past, the Rent Committee (Huurcommissie) decided that these costs should be shared between tenant and landlord. This works out at a maximum of about €60 for the tenant. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to challenge excessive contract costs at the Rent Committee and other procedures often are more expensive than the contract costs themselves.
These are the costs incurred to find a tenant for the property and have to be charged to the landlord, he is after all the agency’s client. But many agencies also charge what they call an Administration fee to the tenant. This is NOT legal.
As a potential tenant or owner of a property, these are important things to be aware of before you start your negotiations.