Martijn van de Hel and Réshmi Rampersad have won a case of a rental agency against ACM (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets) before the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb).
The reason for the proceedings was the penalty that ACM had imposed on the rental agencies for charging registration and administration fees to tenants. According to ACM, that constituted an unfair trade practice. The CBb subscribed to the rental agencies’ position that that could be the case only if a rental agency concealed those costs, which was not the case. The costs were stated on the rental agency’s website and could also be found in its general terms and conditions. The rental agency furthermore drew attention to the costs during the intake interviews.
The CBb therefore ruled that no unfair trade practice was involved and that ACM should not have imposed an order subject to a penalty. That judgment is final. The rental agency had previously also been successful in preliminary relief proceedings against ACM in this matter. ACM has now suggested that the law be changed.
More information on consumer rules can be found at www.consumentenrecht.info.
Information on dawn raids by ACM and the European Commission can be found at invalacm.nl.