The difference between social housing and free market rentals is that social housing is rent controlled. The rent are not allowed to be higher than a certain amount. This is called maximale huurgrens. Social housing in the Netherlands is mostly meant for people with lower incomes.
Most of the houses in The Netherlands that are social housing that belong to woningcorporaties (housing associations). Check your region which woningcorporations are active and register with them.
Some rules apply, for example you need a reason why you want to life in that area (job, school or family) and your income doesn’t exceed a limit. Be aware there is a long waiting list for most regions.
The Dutch government designed the Dutch points system to determine the value of the property and thereby the rent, Social housing in the Netherlands uses a points system. Points are awarded for the size of the house, the facilities, and whether the house is self-contained or not. The rent is then based on the number of points the house attains.
Your landlord cannot terminate your contract without reason. They need a legitimate reason. If you don’t agree only a judge can terminate your contract. This called huurbescherming. Huurbescherming and this applies to rental agreements in the social and free sector.
Only for temporarily contracts there is an exception. This applies to rental agreements max 2 years. The rental contract terminates at the end of the agreement but only if your landlord tells you at least 1 month before the end of the contract in writing.
Did you sign a rental agreement, than you agree with the rental price your landlord is asking. But it could be you find out your neighbors are paying a lot less rent, or the price is not fair to the quality of your home. In that case you can check the fairness or your rent with the Huurcommissie. You can do this the first 6 months of your rental agreement and in some cases even longer. Check the Huurcommisie to be sure.
Do you have problems with your landlord and renting in the social sector? If you are sure you can't resolve your problem with your landlord/woningbouwvereniging, contact the desk of Huurcommissie.
Do you have problems with your landlord and renting in the vrije (free) sector? If you are sure you can't resolve your problem with your landlord, contact the desk of Huurcommissie.