Adranel Cotescu, a general manager at the Transport and Construction Works Ministry, answered readers’s questions on Tuesday about a newly introduced bill that brings a series of changes on home and office rentals in Romania. The bill produced a series of controversies with Transport minister Radu Berceanu warning that it was not a feasible project.

The bill, posted on the Ministry website last week, sparked negative reactions from real estate firms as well as they said it breached property rights and stimulated illegal renting contracts.

The bill says houses can be rented for periods of five years or more and contracts can be dropped in very specific circumstances. Tenants have preemption rights over the acquisition of the house if the owner plans to sell it. And contracts can be inherited.

Cotescu told readers that the 5-year term refers only to empty homes and even then contracts can be annulled if the owner needs the apartment for his own use unless the owner is a firm. And the ministry official said a period of at least one year was contractually valid for furnished homes.

According to Cotescu, payments would be set freely between involved parties and taxes would be applied on rent-based profits, not on the full value of the rent.