Combating Squatting in Vacant Premises: The Check’In Solution

Vacant premises are a recurring issue in urban areas, often leading to squatting, which can result in significant financial losses and security risks for property owners. The lack of effective monitoring and surveillance systems makes it challenging to detect and prevent such incidents. This is where Check’In, a cutting-edge alarm system with embedded AI, comes into play.

The Problem: Squatting in Vacant Premises

Risks of illegal occupation

Check'In protége les logements vacants

According to the Guardian French national statistics, 8.2% of homes in France were vacant in 2023,a figure that has risen by 60% in 30 years.

This vacancy makes these properties particularly vulnerable to the risk of illegal occupation.

This risk is not confined to flats, but also extends to cellars, garages, car parks and building services rooms.

All the common and private areas of flat blocks and condominiums are vulnerable to squatting, which is detrimental to owners, landlords and other residents.

The financial and reputational impact for landlords

First and foremost, squatting represents a risk and a financial cost for the owner or landlord. If there is no legal re-letting, there is no income or rent.

This loss of income is not the only financial impact to be taken into account. Whether it’s a temporary intrusion resulting in damage or a prolonged illegal occupation, this situation will inevitably give rise to :

  • restoration costs ;
  • potential legal costs.

This impact goes beyond the direct financial aspect and also affects :

  • the reputation of the property concerned.
  • Landlords’ obligations relating to the security and tranquillity of accommodation.

Limits of traditional alarm systems

Although landlords have an obligation to guarantee the safety and tranquillity of their residences, they must also make reasonable use of the financial investment and time of their teams to secure the premises.

However, in the specific case of vacant homes that need to be protected pending re-letting, this “cost” versus “benefit” balance is complex, and the technical solutions available on the market do not necessarily meet the specific requirements of the situation.

Because vacant premises often mean :

  • Temporary security that needs to be put in place, but also quickly uninstalled.
  • A home in which service providers and technicians must be able to intervene at any time.
  • Access to electricity and Wi-Fi is often limited.

These specific features mean that traditional break-in alarms are sometimes too complex and costly to install in relation to the risks and benefits involved.

Check’In: An innovative and effective anti-intrusion solution

Check’In is the only 100% autonomous break-in alarm on the market, operating without Wi-Fi, electricity or manual activation or deactivation. Thanks to its patented on-board AI technology, integrated into an all-in-one alarm box, the system makes it possible to :

  • Detect before a break-in: Its unique embedded AI detects, analyses and distinguishes between “normal” events, such as a technician opening the door, and attempted break-ins in the first few seconds. This unique technology autonomously activates the alarm before an intrusion occurs, and reduces false alarms by a factor of 10.
  • Alert in the event of an intrusion: In the event of an intrusion, the system notifies any person identified in your alert scheme (manager, remote supervisors operators, police, etc.) at the same time as the alarm is triggered, enabling you to act quickly in the event of illegal occupation.

Its ease of installation means that 20 times more alarms can be deployed in a single day than with a conventional system.

More than just a break-in alarm, the Check’In system is also a unique solution for centralised monitoring of vacant premises.

Dasboard Pro Check'In pour un suivi centralisé et simplifié des locaux vacants

The system also enables lessors to monitor openings across the entire fleet in real time. This information is hosted in the secure Artifeel cloud, and accessible via our hypervision tools, the Dashboard pro and the User and Pro Check’In apps.

Unicil case study

Unicil, a social housing company with a long history in the South of France and a subsidiary of the Action Logement Group, provides housing solutions for employees and the most vulnerable, and manages over 30,000 homes.

Unicil’s teams are working to create a new supply of housing that meets the needs of the region, both in terms of new construction and the acquisition and improvement of buildings in need of renovation. In order to eliminate substandard housing and carry out major renovation work, we need to put in place effective anti-squatting solutions.

At Unicil, these initiatives are managed by strong>Sébastien Garcia, Head of the Residential Safety and Tranquillity Division, who reports to the Department of Relations with Residents and Territories.

« We are regularly faced with squatting attempts and the systems traditionally deployed were not entirely satisfactory. They are quite onerous to implement, both in human and financial terms.

We were therefore looking for a solution that was both effective and more agile and simple, to meet the challenges of combating squatting, which led us to deploy Check’In alarm systems on some of our vacant premises. »

Sébastien Garcia, Head of the Residential Safety and Tranquillity Unit, attached to the Department of Relations with Residents and Territories

The stick & play installation of the Check’In system, with no need for wifi or electrical connections, meets Unicil’s need for flexibility and simplicity.

This simplicity is enhanced by the fact that no activation code is required. Designed to reduce the number of operations required to the bare essentials, the system operates continuously once installed, detecting and analysing every event to distinguish between attempted intrusions and normal events, and acting autonomously accordingly.

« We have already seen how effective the solution is, with an initial intrusion attempt thwarted this last 1st of May !

Following notification of this event, our agent visited the site to confirm the information provided via our mobile application and our fleet tracking dashboard. 

Screwdriver blows were made to the lock, attesting to the attempted break-in, but the door was not forced, as our monitoring of events indicated.

Check’In was therefore able to detect and act on our warning system, without us having to intervene, to prevent any squatting.»

Sébastien Garcia, Head of the Residential Safety and Tranquillity Unit, attached to the Department of Relations with Residents and Territories

Check’In secures access to building’s roofs

Illegal use of smoke vents or skydome is a major problem for property managers. Ils doivent garantir le bon fonctionnement de ces dispositifs pour la sécurité des personnes et la maintenance des bâtiments. The Check’In system’s monitoring and alarm technology makes these devices even more secure, with minimal impact on the infrastructure and easier management for teams.

Smoke vents: a critical access point for safety

Smoke vents or skydomes are an essential part of the security system in managed buildings. Social landlords, real estate management companies and building owners must put in place effective, ongoing systems and procedures for monitoring and maintaining these vents in order to meet their legal obligations. However, these smoke extraction systems are often used illegally to gain access to roofs, compromising their smooth operation and the safety of the building.

Smoke vents

Skydomes must remain closed to :

  • Ensure their effectiveness in the event of fire.
  • Prevent accidents involving roof access.
  • Prevent damage to the building.

In the event of unauthorised opening, it is crucial for the building manager to intervene quickly to check and restore the system.

In the absence of security systems and real-time remote monitoring, checking skydomes is a daily task for field teams. These rounds of checks are time-consuming and do not guarantee rapid intervention in the event of real damage.

Simplify skydome management with Check’In

With Check’In, forget complicated installations! There’s no need to screw a box into the wall or install a wired door-opening sensor on the skydome frame and leaf.

Check’In is an all-in-one device, which can be installed in the blink of an eye using an ultra-resistant double-sided tape system. It has no impact on the infrastructure or the fire system, and requires no additional electrical or Wi-Fi connection.

Once installed, Check’In works continuously, 24/7, to notify any unauthorised opening in real time and remotely, without the need for additional activation.

This real-time monitoring system offers a number of advantages:

  • Centralised and optimised maintenance management: teams and service providers only intervene when the system detects a need.
  • Precise monitoring of maintenance work carried out by service providers, with automatic detection and logging in the Check’In system.
  • Prevent damage to common areas of buildings caused by rain or wind, by quickly closing devices that have been left open for too long.
Protecting In’li skydomes with the Check’In system

Use case: In’li

As the leading provider of intermediate housing in the Paris region, In’li manages more than 50,000 homes.

Artifeel has deployed Check’In boxes on the outlets of buildings managed by In’li, enabling agents to know precisely when and where an outlet is open, for rapid intervention.

According to Alexis Boissières, Innovation Project Manager at In’li LAB :

“The Check’in box solution offers a remarkable plug-and-play approach, providing not only an instant alert in the event of an attempted roof intrusion, but also optimised supervision of our service providers responsible for the security of our fire smoke extraction systems.

Check-in allows us to better control and anticipate incidents, thereby strengthening the security and surveillance of our assets.»

Saving time and improving efficiency for In’li, for safer, more autonomous infrastructures.

Would you like to simplify the management of your skydomes and make it more reliable?