Rental Housing & Y2K Article (San Jose Mercury News) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Interesting, for landlords.


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Published Saturday, June 5, 1999, in the San Jose Mercury News


How housing providers can prepare for Y2K

BY TERRY FEINBERG Special to the Mercury News

JAN.1, 2000. Will the year 2000 problem be Armageddon or much ado about nothing?

I can't speak for the rest of the economy, but you should be aware that electronic systems and controls are areas of concern in rental housing. Fortunately, many housing providers have ongoing maintenance and service contracts that, in most cases, will shift the burden of year 2000 software compliance to the service company. If the service provider is required to keep the system operational, and the contract extends beyond next Jan. 1, the problem is theirs. Whether or not there is a service contract, it is a good idea to check with the manufacturer of all critical equipment to determine what potential problems could arise.

The potential problems, for the most part, are minimal. Many systems are time sensitive, but not date sensitive. And those that are date sensitive are so only as the date determines the day of the week. Jan. 1, 1900, was a Monday; Jan. 1, 2000, is a Saturday.

Systems that go into a reduced service mode on the weekends may continue to function as if that Saturday were a regular workday, then shut down five days later for the 1900 weekend. The solution to this problem may be as simple as setting the system date forward to 1/6/00 (the first Saturday in the year 1900).

If an accounting package believes the year 2000 is actually the year 1900, all date-related functions, such as aging of receivables and selection of accounts for invoicing could be affected. It's probably a good idea to run hard copies of date-sensitive reports in late December, but if this is the worst that happens, the world and your business will not come to an end.

It is important to verify with software manufacturers to determine if the version of the software you are running is Y2K compliant. Many people do not purchase every software upgrade, and it is possible that an upgrade is required to function properly.

We've investigated potential Y2K problems at the Tri-County Apartment Association: All of our computer hardware has been upgraded within the past year to meet workload demands; Y2K compliance was a bonus. We have also verified with the manufacturers that our fax machines and phone system will still be functioning next year.

We have downloaded the latest service packs from Microsoft for our Windows 95 and Windows NT operating systems. We have verified with our membership database provider that we do not have a problem there. We have determined a problem with our accounting software, but had already decided to replace it this year anyway.

TCAA actually has invested very little time, and no money we weren't otherwise going to be spending in achieving a comfort level with our Y2K situation.

(Terry Feinberg is chief executive officer of the Tri-County Apartment Association. Write to him in care of the Mercury News; e-mail

-- Diane J. Squire (, June 06, 1999

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