Covenants, conditions & restrictions, rules and regulations, bylaws, and other sets of community governance vary widely across associations. Our violation tracking feature allows you to build out your own way of labeling and describing these for the violations you need to track per association.
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Standardize violation settings
- Customize and automate communications
- Let homeowners view and resolve violations through the Resident Center
- Log a violation from the desktop version and the app
- Access reports and insights to stay on track
Standardize violation settingsShowHide
Settings for violations are always set on an association level. There is a Violations tab on the summary page of each association. From the Violations tab, you’ll be able to see all violations that have been recorded for that specific association, log violations, and of course, adjust your settings.
Within violation categories, we have violation types. For example, an example of a category would be “Exteriors” and a type would be “Fencing”.
We’ve added a small set of default categories and types to every association to get you started. If any of these do not fit a particular association, you can always edit their titles or delete them from the list.
You can also add default language and actions to resolve for any type. For example, you can get really specific and have an exterior type for “Fencing - Too High” as well as one for “Fencing - Broken”, and create a default message to include when the violation is logged. The more specific you’re able to get in your settings with what violation types you’ll need, the easier it’ll make your day-to-day use of the feature.
Use violation stages to set up the procedure you go through when tracking violations. You can indicate the number of stages and types of stages available to choose from when you go to log a violation.
Like categories, the stages for a violation can vary across communities, so we’ve provided a default list of stages, which can be removed, edited or added to. Whenever you take a certain action on a violation, you can update the stage in the violation itself based on what you’ve set here.
The Draft stage for a violation is for when you’re recording a violation in an unfinished state. For example, when you’re on the go and want to quickly capture details, then fill out more information later.
The stages that follow Draft are customizable. No matter how your procedures are set up, you’re able to add or remove different stages, and rename them if needed. This is also where you’re able to tie existing mailing and email templates to a stage.
The Owner updated stage is related to a feature where homeowners are able to log into their Resident Center account to update you if they’ve resolved the violation. They can include text and upload pictures or files.
When an owner takes this step, the violation will move to the Owner updated stage. Note that Owner updated is meant to indicate that a homeowner has self-reported a resolution, but that resolution has not been verified by the board or management yet. It doesn’t indicate that the stage is resolved. You can turn the owner resolution setting on or off under Violations in the Resident Center settings page.
Customize and automate communicationsShowHide
Notification settings are where you can indicate how homeowners are notified about violations and override the global violation settings you have in place per association.
Default letter sender refers to mailing senders you have created in your account. If you’ve used our Mailings feature before, you likely have senders set up. The system will default to your company information, but you can choose a specific sender (for example, the association information itself) from the drop-down menu. If you need to add additional senders, you can do so from the Mailings page.
You have the option to automatically send an email notification based on the template selected for each stage. You can have all the templates you assigned to each stage automatically emailed OR even mailed using our EZMail feature. If you just want to generate the letters and not use EZMail, you can choose the setting to automatically generate letters. You’ll be able to find these letters on the Mailings page once a violation has been logged.
Buildium provides default templates for new violations, updated violations, and when violations are resolved. All are completely editable, and you can easily find them by filtering the Mailing and email templates page by homeowner.
In the image below, everything highlighted in yellow is called a ‘token’. Tokens are fields that will automatically populate based on the context of the recipient.
In the example above, if the homeowner recipient has a new violation for Fencing, the details of that violation such as the type, description (whether you keep the default you set up earlier in categories, or add more details), and more will appear automatically based on the tokens you create.
Let homeowners view and resolve violations through the Resident CenterShowHide
Go to the Violations page under Resident Center settings to turn on access for homeowners. Here, you can allow homeowners to report self-resolution of a violation right from their Resident Center account.
Once access is turned on, homeowners can log into their Resident Center account, click the Violations tab, then click into the violation in question. They can then Report as resolved, including any details needed as well as photos or other documents. Once they click the button to Report as resolved, the violation is updated in your Buildium account to the Owner updated stage.
As a reminder, Owner updated just means that the homeowner has taken an action, but it’s still awaiting an update from you or one of your staff members - it does NOT mark the violation as resolved.
Log a violation from the desktop version and the appShowHide
Once your settings are in place, logging violations is simple. You can log and update violations on your desktop, or using Buildium’s mobile app.
On the desktop, go to the Violations page under Associations and click on Log violation to start the process.
The Buildium mobile app allows you to log violations as you see them if you’re out in the field. You can take photos, add a description, and save it in a draft stage if you need to add more details later.
Access reports and insights to stay on track ShowHide
Add a card for violations to your home dashboard and drag and drop it to whatever position you want by clicking the customize dashboard option. You can see how many unresolved violations are for each association right from the card, as well as which ones are overdue. You can even log a violation right from the dashboard by clicking the circle with the 3 dots.
This setting is personal for each user, so if you have one staff member who manages violations, they can add it to their own dashboard, while other staff members can remove it from their dashboard settings.
We also have a violations report. You can run the report for all associations under management together to get a more holistic view of how your company is handling violations, or run the report for specific associations to give to board members at your monthly meetings.
You have the option to allow board members to pull the Violation Status Report for themselves at any time:
- First, make sure you have turned on the ability for your board members to run reports by navigating to Communications > Resident Center settings.
- On the Resident Center settings page, go to Reports, toggle that page On to allow board members to run reports. The list of reports you can allow them to run will appear.
- In the Association reports section, make sure that the box next to Violations is checked.
For a real-time view, access the Association Performance dashboard (available in our Premium plan) in the Analytics Hub where you can get insights into how long it takes to resolve violations per month across all your properties and drill down to see the time to resolution per community and homeowner.