Please read before updating to version 8.0

The method of calculating the rent arrears total for tenant's has been changed in version 8.0 which means that some tenants arrears totals may be different after upgrading.

The way the rent arrears were calculated previously was to store a running total in the database.  The problem with the running total is that if there is an error in calculating the running total at some point the balance will always be out by the same amount for then on, in effect hiding the problem.  In very old versions of RentMaster (i.e. about 3 or 4 years ago) there were problems calculating this running total.  Also in an older version, up to about 2 years ago, there was the ability to manually over-ride the running total, in effect allowing you to create the inbalance yourself (or fix an existing inbalance).  This ability to edit rent period paid amounts should never have been allowed, as it allows the user to mask the real problem instead of fixing it.  The edit ability has been removed.

The way the arrears total is calculated now is to add up the sum of the rent and extra charges owing from all the rent periods, and subtract the sum of the rent and extra charges payment transactions.  So it is calculated fresh each time it is required.   If a tenants balance is not correct then it means that either the transactions have been recorded wrong, in which case the transactions can be added, editted or deleted, or the rent owing amount is wrong, and this number can be changed as well on the rent periods screen.

Most tenant balances will not change after the upgrade.  It is more likely to affect clients who have been using RentMaster for a long time, and who have long term tenants.  This new method of calculating rent arrears is the same method that has been used by the NZ T41 Rent Summary report since its creation.

A program has been created which will analyse your database and tell you which tenants balances will be fixed after upgrading.  You can download this program from www.rentmaster.co.nz/installs/RentCalcAnalysis.exe .  This program will calculate the arrears balance using both the old and new methods, and report which, if any, tenants balances will change after upgrading.

For those technically minded, in the database the rent_periods.paid and rent_periods.extra_charges_paid columns are no longer used, although they are still being updated.

Also rent this other blog entry before updating to version 8.0 http://blog.rentmaster.co.nz/post/2008/01/Tenancy-end-dates.aspx

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