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Computer reboot could spell chaos for rent regulated owners

Rent regulated building owners are bracing of a massive systems failure as the state reboots its Annual Rent Registration system (ARRO).

A crash could create chaos if the system fails to reconfigure rent regulated apartments to the right people and properties.

“It’s the Y2K of the real estate world,” warned one industry insider, referring to the  phenomenon at the turn of the 21st century where computer users and programmers feared that computers would stop working on December 31, 1999.

This week, the stateʼs Homes and Community Renewal Division will “temporarily disable” its online ARRO system to bring it into compliance with the new Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019.

“The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) has determined that it is in the best interest of all owners using the system to temporarily disable the ability to enter 2020 annual registration data,” says a notice on the DHCR website.

“It seems that any rent regulated data from 2020, the year the city introduced the new rent regulations, is affected,” said a person with knowledge of the operation. “It’s all part of the massive confusion around the new rent regulation laws that have the sector swirling in uncertainty.”

Effective Thursday October 10, 2019 ARRO users will no longer have access to the 2020 ARRO screens to enter data.  Data that has already been entered into the 2020 screens will not be saved when the system is disabled.

The Division website says, “DHCR staff is already working diligently with Information Technology staff to update the system and to bring it into compliance with HSTPA and we are committed to complete the system upgrade in advance of the 2020 registration filing period.”

ARRO users will be notified by email when the system upgrade is complete and when 2020 annual registration data entry can begin.

DHCR has placed information on its website for owners: https://hcr.ny.gov/owner-rent-regulation-applications

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