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Subject: Violation Tracking & Issuing system
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Author Messages
MonicaS3
(Georgia)

Posts:2


02/15/2017 11:35 AM  
I am currently handling the CCR violations for my 76 home neighborhood. I'm looking for a better way to track and issue these letters that won't have me doing super frequent rounds and hopefully something that won't have so much 'hands on' activity on my part to get a letter out.

As it stands now I do the rounds in the neighborhood noting and taking photos of any violations - most frequently lawn maintenance issues and parking on the streets problems. We send a 'friendly reminder' and allow 14 days to remedy the situation before progressing to a warning of fine and then a fine. All with the 14 day window between. I have a form letter in Word where I have to manually change the owners name and address, violation, and reference to CCR's and dates. Then log all of this on a spreadsheet.

I've searched on this forum but don't see any suggestions of how other HOA's track these. We have an accounting only management company so this responsibility falls on the board members. I'm open to suggestions or ideas. We do have some reserves that we could use to purchase a software tracking system if any of those are reputable.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2025


02/15/2017 11:43 AM  
You might want to do a Google search "HOA Violation Tracker".
MonicaS3
(Georgia)

Posts:2


02/15/2017 12:13 PM  
Thanks for the suggestion, Richard. That's how I ended up here. I found a post from 2011 and was hoping that in the 6 years since that maybe some new ideas had emerged. The software that I came across in my search required monthly memberships that are astronomical for our small dues to cover. Just simply asking if there are other ideas or options still.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1889


02/15/2017 12:25 PM  
Have you considered setting up an Access database? You could preload homeowner name and addresses, come up with specific codes for various types of violations and then the database can interface with Word and Excel to spit out letters and create spreadsheets showing when you need to follow up on those homes. I'm not an Access expert, but there are a number of books out there on how to use the program so you can set up those interfaces with Word and Excel, depending on what you want.

Once you set up the database, you should be able to get the letters out fairly quickly as well as provide reports to the Board as to which violations are more obnoxious than others and if policies need to be added or amended.

You might also consider doing rounds every 2 weeks or once a month - that would save you some time. Other board members could also help - perhaps if everyone took a certain section of the neighborhood and inspect those homes only and send you the information (a rules enforcement committee could do this as well, if you have one).
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2025


02/15/2017 12:26 PM  
There is one out there that runs .60 cents per door. It does many things, plus does violations. This would be $45.60 per month or an increase in dues of less than $1.00 per owner.

I use full service management company software at $150.00 per month to manage all of my associations.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14509


02/15/2017 3:41 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 02/15/2017 12:25 PM

Have you considered setting up an Access database?




That is a good idea. However, it can cause issues for those who come after.
Those who do not own the program it was created on or simply are not computer savvy may be the next ones who serve.

We had one ACC Chair create such a database. When they left, the database was available but the program was not.
Even if the program was available, many simply don't understand how databases work.

I discovered the database on a CD 5 years later, when I served on the committee. I happened to have the program, so I could open the files. It helped us to a point but the data was 5 years old and needed verifying.

We went to paper and pen and classification folders (folders with different sections).
This allowed us to establish a system that anyone who came after us could utilize.
This gave a better chance of the files being maintained in the future.
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


02/15/2017 6:50 PM  
Even if you have the program, current data, and knowledgeable personnel, there is no guarantee that the program will still work after the next release of Windows. I have tons of software that I can no longer use under Windows 10.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:6802


02/16/2017 7:26 AM  
A good, simple to use, and free database is included in Microsoft Works. Notice Microsoft Works.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3355


02/16/2017 9:11 AM  
A folder for each property is really the best as virtually anyone can take over and view copies of past letters and information pertaining to that property. That along with an Excel Spreadsheet found is best. If you know how to mail merge instead of manually changing addresses you can do one letter for similar violations and have the program merge the letter for the addresses you choose. Many people are familiar to some extent with Excel and many have that particular program.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14509


02/16/2017 10:58 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/16/2017 7:26 AM

A good, simple to use, and free database is included in Microsoft Works.




Unfortunately, Microsoft Works is no longer available.
It's last release date was 2007.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4162


02/16/2017 11:20 AM  
We have a property mgr. who takes care of notices to Owners both about violations and about ARC approvals for our 200+ condos.

I'm on the board but don't know what computer programs they might use for these two topics. There certainly are form letters for everything. I do know there's a hard copy file for very unit, which contains ownership info and also every ARC approval and violations. Violations are expunged if not repeated in 6 months. So, with Janet, I think it's the safest way to keep track.

But by yourself, Monica, it seems like quite a task for a volunteer. Is there a way you can divvy up the labor differently among the other board members? How many are on your board?
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2025


02/16/2017 3:07 PM  
Monica

I don't use this software, TOPS, but if you visit their site, http://www.topssoft.com/, you will get an idea of what is involved in HOA management and some of the software features that your management company might be able to offer your association. There are about 12 outstanding full featured software programs written specifically to manage ALL aspects of association management.

Your vendor may already have the tools you need. Yes, it might cost a bit more, but it wouldn't keeps getting updated even if the Board changes hands.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:6802


02/16/2017 3:33 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 02/16/2017 10:58 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/16/2017 7:26 AM

A good, simple to use, and free database is included in Microsoft Works.




Unfortunately, Microsoft Works is no longer available.
It's last release date was 2007.




Heck, I still use it and it works with wINDOWS 7.0. I think it will work with all Microsoft releases. Ask around. It is still out there.
AllisonD
(Florida)

Posts:440


02/18/2017 8:09 AM  
Posted By MonicaS3 on 02/15/2017 11:35 AM
I am currently handling the CCR violations for my 76 home neighborhood. I'm looking for a better way to track and issue these letters that won't have me doing super frequent rounds and hopefully something that won't have so much 'hands on' activity on my part to get a letter out.

As it stands now I do the rounds in the neighborhood noting and taking photos of any violations - most frequently lawn maintenance issues and parking on the streets problems. We send a 'friendly reminder' and allow 14 days to remedy the situation before progressing to a warning of fine and then a fine. All with the 14 day window between. I have a form letter in Word where I have to manually change the owners name and address, violation, and reference to CCR's and dates. Then log all of this on a spreadsheet.

I've searched on this forum but don't see any suggestions of how other HOA's track these. We have an accounting only management company so this responsibility falls on the board members. I'm open to suggestions or ideas. We do have some reserves that we could use to purchase a software tracking system if any of those are reputable.




Why do you send letters for a friendly reminder? Is there a way you can post a sign at your front entrance to say 'inspections are being done, violation letters will be sent on Feb 20 for lawn maintenance, flower beds, dirty driveways... please use the next 2 weeks to beautify your home" and on Feb 20 do your inspection and at that time you could just send the warning letters. It seems to me that you are doing an extra unnecessary step. If you do it my way, everyone is now on the same schedule and you do not have to constantly check things at different times for different people.

I have my violation letter template set with every possible violation and the streets already entered in, then I delete what I do not need and I only have to add the house number. Also, my violation letters are one large document containing multiple pages each page consisting of a violation letter. I name the document 'Violation Letters Feb 20' so I can keep track on them all at the same time. I also use my Outlook and Google calendars to diary ahead to the deadlines. In Outlook I can attach the actual violations document. The point is that I keep everyone on the same schedule.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4162


02/18/2017 9:08 AM  
Allison's method sounds good, Monica.
LeeH8
(Ohio)

Posts:2


09/05/2017 10:59 AM  
Hi MonicaS3,

My name is Lee and I came across your thread while doing some research about HOA and COA violation reports. Hopefully you've found a solution to your issue but if not, I represent a company called Geographic Information Solutions, LLC that has created an iPhone app to report and track violations. The app is very simple to use with only 5 screens that accomplishes everything you've described as your needs. It does everything from identify housing units to taking photos to generating report letters that are formatted to fold and send. We have an administrative webpage that allows you to track and manage all violations that have been recorded. The violation recording system is also based on friendly reminders with three levels of violation letter types to allow the homeowner time to correct the violation or increase the fine. If you would like to have more information, please let me know so we can discuss your community's needs further.

Sincerely,
Lee
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:726


09/05/2017 11:09 AM  
Posted By LeeH8 on 09/05/2017 10:59 AM
Hi MonicaS3,

My name is Lee and I came across your thread while doing some research about HOA and COA violation reports. Hopefully you've found a solution to your issue but if not, I represent a company called Geographic Information Solutions, LLC that has created an iPhone app to report and track violations. The app is very simple to use with only 5 screens that accomplishes everything you've described as your needs. It does everything from identify housing units to taking photos to generating report letters that are formatted to fold and send. We have an administrative webpage that allows you to track and manage all violations that have been recorded. The violation recording system is also based on friendly reminders with three levels of violation letter types to allow the homeowner time to correct the violation or increase the fine. If you would like to have more information, please let me know so we can discuss your community's needs further.

Sincerely,
Lee



Try reading the rules, Ray.
http://www.hoatalk.com/PostingRules/tabid/71/Default.aspx
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:726


09/05/2017 11:09 AM  
Lee, not Ray.
LeeH8
(Ohio)

Posts:2


09/05/2017 11:16 AM  
Hi DaveD3,

My apologies for not reading and adhering to the rules. This was my first post ever to a thread and I didn't do my due diligence to thoroughly find and read the rules. I was perhaps a bit eager to be able to help with the exact needs that were described. Again, my mistake.

Lee
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:237


09/05/2017 12:59 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/16/2017 3:33 PM
Posted By TimB4 on 02/16/2017 10:58 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/16/2017 7:26 AM

A good, simple to use, and free database is included in Microsoft Works.




Unfortunately, Microsoft Works is no longer available.
It's last release date was 2007.




Heck, I still use it and it works with wINDOWS 7.0. I think it will work with all Microsoft releases. Ask around. It is still out there.




It is now called Microsoft Office 365, you can buy a yearly subscription or the full version for $150.00. I just bought it for my kid that just started college.
There is no software, everything is downloaded. You can buy it at Best Buy, it looks like a gift card, but it is the access code to activate the software download.
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