Long Distance Monitoring

I have a place in France (living in New England) and when we are not there, it is rented out by a neighbor who handles all aspects of the rental. However, it seems that it may be rented more than they admit. I can track the electricity usage and it is high at times there is presumably no one renting. Therefore, I want to install an outdoor security camera to obtain the simplest information possible. It would be mounted to show the front door (only door in), be motion activated, obtain a few images, be able to store them, and have a long battery life. The internet is not always up and running and the power is sometimes completely off. I only want to know when someone is or has been there. At the worst, if the camera would obtain and keep the images so I can check the dates people are coming and going when I get there, that would be sufficient. I was considering the Blink Outdoor camera. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hi @Andy_Taylor and welcome back.
There are (at least) two other Topics on this subject you may not have read through:

I have had a recommendation from some friends in Ireland about the EUFY range of products, for which the cameras have a 180 day battery-life, and connect to a NAS which is connected to your router, so that you can then look through the footage and control the NAS and cameras remotely.


I would either try to turn up at your house when its supposed to be empty, but the electricity consumption says its occupied, or drop a subtle hint to your neighbour that you know what he/she/whatever is up to.
If you went down the camera route, I think you might be surprised how unreliable the connection would be😉.
No matter what, its a pretty shit situation as far as trust is concerned

Can’t very well pop in from New England, but the reason I know/suspect what is going on is that a friend noticed there were cars at the house very frequently. And, I have tried to explain to the neighbor what my suspicions are, but they just brush them off and say it is just keeping the house heated (“hors gel”). Thinking just the presence of a camera might be a deterrent.

Thanks! I will take a look.

You can get solar powered wifi cameras, you also get them with a 4g SIM built in as well, this does away with power or WiFi outages.

1 Like

The trouble is that if they really are abusing your friendship and trust in this way then a camera may well not work. I think the chances are that it would develop an intermittent “ fault”.

Could you say you are concerned that there is something wrong with your meters, so have asked EDF and Veolia (or whoever you utilities come from) to monitor more closely as it seems more electricity/water is being metered than normal for an empty house?

Could other friend take photos?

1 Like

I have checked EDF and all is fine on that front. I also suggested the local electrician check out the house because of the high usage, and they said that would not be necessary because it was all due to heating the house in advance of renters or for “hors gel” and that sometimes they accidentally leave the windows open.
The situation is complicated bc we are the ‘interlopers’ in co-propriataire in a small village and the person managing the house is very much a part of local civic life. I think we are viewed as the rich (dumb) Americans. So, I am thinking of putting up a security camera and saying we did this at our home in the states and thought it would be a good idea here too!

I have Amazon Blink cameras covering the house. They are inexpensive, reliable and have good battery life, you can also buy a little solar panel that clips onto them (the outside ones only, obviously). The hub that comes with them can take an SD card for offline recording. The Blink app is good and they also integrate also with Alexa. I’m sure there are other excellent makes too but after I bought and tested the first Blink and found it satisfactory I didn’t do anymore research. Since it worked so well, despite being Apple fans, we’ve standardised on Alexa compatible products around the home since.

I had them at our other house and they worked well, but the only reason I didn’t go with blink this time was I wanted 360 degree cameras as we have quite area to cover, I’m not sure if they do now but when I installed the cameras they only did interior ones.

This is what I have - specifically the EufyCam 2C. I’ve been impressed with it so far. It’s waterproof so can be positioned indoors or outdoors. The video footage is very clear, even in poor lighting, and the battery life is about 6 months from one charge, although it depends on how much time it is actually recording versus being in ‘standby’ mode with just the motion detector active. It alerts me via the app whenever there is motion detected but is clever enough to not be triggered if the dog walks in front of the camera. You can even have a conversation with your burglar as it’s got a speaker and microphone built-in :smiley:

I have mine configured to save to a NAS (a Raspberry Pi, in my case)… which is backed-up to the cloud using Backblaze cause the first 10GB is free. However, if there’s a power cut then my NAS will go offline and doesn’t automatically come up cleanly. It’s not a biggie for me because I’m usually at home anyway, so I’ve not looked into it properly. However, if I was living somewhere else then I’m not sure I’d suggest going down the NAS route for storage. I think EUFY have models with an SD card slot to store the footage locally but I’ve not had any experience using those.


Another very satisfied EUFY user. Would recommend them.


They have motorised internal ones now. I bought a couple to play with.

I have one inside the cottage, but I would need 5-6 fixed outside cameras to do the job that 2 x 360 degree cameras do.

Is your arrangement legal and better than using the local notaire ? Just a thought.

Not legal, just convenience based. But it is not the situation that I wanted advice on, rather what camera would work best for monitoring comings and goings. I’ve done all that I can and have arrived at the decision that this is the best approach. Thanks

1 Like

As long as your camera is on your property and is not filming anything off your property then it is legal here.

Hi JaneJones- Thanks for that clarification. It was the one thing I was worried about.

I forget the other thing. If you have eg a gardener or a window cleaner you must tell them as they have the right to their own image (droit de l’image).

1 Like