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This is no different than hiring a real estate
agent to represent you to buy a house and they are entitled to a fee even if you find your own house during the term of your contract with them. This is something, that if you believe you are going to find your own apartment, you should not agree to and should reconsider using the broker and go out on your own to find an apartment.
It is legal for them to ask for this type of deposit, but you do not have to agree to it and you need to hold firm that it will not be part of the agreement AND you need to insist on a written broker agreement and if he will not give you one walk away from him.
I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.
Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.
Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.