[This feature is currently in beta. If you subscribed to Buildium before 2/18/2020, please contact support to get access to the beta version of violations in Buildium]
Violations setup Guide:
We’ve put this quick guide together to help introduce you to and lead you through how to set up and use the improvements.
Using violations in Buildium will require some set up at the association level, but are designed to save you time when performing your violations workflow in the day to day. Please note, this functionality is currently only available through our manager web application and is currently in the process of being developed for our mobile application. Stay tuned for an announcement when this is available through the mobile app!
If you are a 3rd party manager of associations, we recommend choosing one or two associations to set up first, just to get to know and understand the features. Once you’ve seen it in action, then roll it out to other associations as you see fit.
To start setting up an association Go to Associations > Select an association > Violations > Settings, to customize stage lists and set notification automation for an association.
Default Description and Action to Resolve for violation types
We recommend setting default Descriptions and Actions for at least the most frequent violation types that come up at each association. It requires some setup work, but we anticipate each description saved to be “set it and forget it” and will save a lot of tedious data entry in the long run. Our current character limit is 1500.
When a violation type has a default description or action, the logging functionality will auto-populate the Description or Action fields with that text content, saving you time from having to type the same thing over and over again every time that violation occurs in that association. Even better, fields are still customizable while logging a violation, so you can add whatever customized information or messaging you need based on the situation.
These defaults become even more powerful when you use the “violation description” token in the Mailing and Email templates that you tie to your violation stages. When you generate emails and mailings for violation stages with templates tied to them, Buildium will use the content that was auto populated into the Description and Action in that notification.
TIP: Add formal rules, regulations or other governance language as default descriptions and actions, so you can cut down the time it takes to create your violation letters, while keeping them customized to that violation!
Customize each stage list to match the escalation levels dictated by the associations’ compliance rules.
- This will allow you to customize the escalation stage list for the association you are working in.
- “Draft” will allow you to log a recorded violation in an unfinished state, so you can go back to add details or send notifications later. This stage cannot be renamed.
- “Owner updated” reflects to management and board members the state of a violation record where the owner has self-reported a resolution, but that resolution has not been verified by the board or management. This stage cannot be renamed.
Tie Mailing and Email templates to stages to streamline generating letters and emails to owners.
- Each time you generate a mailing or an email directly from an existing violation record, Buildium will use the content in that template to create the notice.
This becomes even more powerful when used in conjunction with some of the automated notification settings (below).
- We have defaulted the templates tied to stages to the default violation Mailing and email templates we have added to your Buildium template list (Communication > Mailing and email templates). These templates are designed to be generic and can be used across associations, but you can also customize their content in the Mailing and Email Templates section of your Communications menu. Use our new violations tokens to help autofill content from the violation record into your communication content.
If different associations need different content in their violation letters, you can create your own violation templates using the violation tokens available in the template editing tools. You can then tie those newly created templates to the appropriate stages in the relevant association in that association’s violation settings area.
Notification settings - New
Section: Violations on the resident site (New location)
These settings have been in place, but have moved to our new Violation ‘Notifications settings’ section for an association. These will override any global settings for the association you are working in.
- Automatically share new violations to the resident site
This defaults the Share to Owner Portal option on when logging. User can uncheck that box to prevent sharing.
Sharing violations with owners on their resident site is and informal way to let owners know they are in violation more quickly than a formal letter. They will get an email letting them know they should log in to the account to see the violation record.
You still may need to send an official formal letter of violation via mail per association rules, but using this to get the information in front of the owner even before they get the letter can help get to resolution faster.
- Allow residents (owners) to update violations on the resident site
This allows association owners to send an update or propose a resolution to an existing violation right from their online account, whether they have received an official formal letter or not.
Violations updated through the owner’s resident site will automatically be updated in management’s account with a stage of “Owner updated” to help you track which violations need to be confirmed resolved.
- Automatically email owners using linked template for each stage
When this setting is on, Buidlium will use the template tied to the stage that a violation is logged or updated with to automatically send an email using the content of that template.
If there is no template tied to the stage a violation is logged or updated with, no email will be sent.
If a violation is logged in the “Draft” stage, no email will be sent, allowing you to record the violation, but add details and send out a notification later.
Section: Letters (or mailings)
- Automatically generate letters using linked template for each stage
When this setting is on Buildium will use the template tied to the stage that a violation is logged or updated with to automatically generate a mailing letter using the content of that template.
The mailing can be found in “Mailings” under the Communications menu or in the owners’ communication timeline records. If there is no template tied to the stage that a violation is logged or updated with, a mailing will not be generated.
If a violation is logged in the “Draft” stage, a mailing will not be generated, allowing you to record the violation, but add details and create a mailing later.
- Automatically place EZMail orders for violation letters
When this setting is on, Buildium will not only generate the mailing for you, but will have our EZMail service send the letter out for you, saving you even more time from having to print out the letter and send it yourself or even having to go click “Send through EZMail”!