Supreme Court clears the way for claiming back service fees
The Supreme Court ruled on 16 October 2015 that housing agencies are not allowed to charge any “service fees” to tenants. The only exception is when a tenant asks the housing agency to find a house for him.
Housing agencies used to ask both homeowners a fee to advertise their property and charged tenants a fee for finding them a home.
Claiming back service fees
If this happened, you can claim back any costs paid. You can do that until 5 years after you made the payment.
You can find a model of a letter (in Dutch), in which you claim your costs back, on https://www.woonbond.nl/publicatie/modelbrief-terugvorderen-bemiddelingskosten.
If the housing agency does not want to refund the costs, you can go to the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Board (De Geschillencommissie), https://www.degeschillencommissie.nl/consumenten/. However, this is only possible if the housing agency is a member of this Board. If this is not the case, you can go to court.
Another option is contacting a bailiff to summon the housing agency to refund your costs.
Before contacting a bailiff, it is useful to check on https://www.woonbond.nl/bemiddelingskosten-terugvragen (Dutch only) if it is useful to follow this procedure.