Locked up houses of diasporans in Greece: Who will tend to them?

It’s the start of June and the Greek islands have begun to welcome their summer guests. Each year, prior to COVID, many Greeks living abroad, would visit their family homes to enjoy a few months in Greece.

Their homes are now locked up due to COVID-19, lying unused – a headache for Greeks abroad who still need to pay running costs and taxes though they can’t enjoy a flight due to travel restrictions.

Maintenance is another issue, with many Greeks calling on family and neighbours to check up on their property, sitting unused and inaccessible.

The LXStay start-up kicked off in Lemnos in response to problems faced by property owners who don’t have access to their island homes.

“The letters LXS are the international code of Lemnos Airport and Stay alludes to accommodation,” Nicholas Anagnostopoulos, Office Manager and Business Development Manager of the company told Neos Kosmos.

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“We have relatives and friends who live in Australia, and regardless of when they will return to Lemnos, they are concerned about the condition in which they will find their homes once they do return. We thought we could help out, in a professional capacity, not just to maintain their homes but also take care of other obligations pertaining to their property, and also offer the opportunity to cover some of the cost with the proper management of their property,” he said.

Dimitris Triantafyllou, LXStay’s Operation Manager and Housekeeping Monitoring, said that the company is geared towards property owners who have homes sitting empty on Lemnos so that they don’t need to burden neighbours and relatives with watching over them and tending to their needs.

Elpida Passou, LXStay’s Communication Manager, said the company at this point is only available for properties specifically on the island of Lemnos.

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LXStay’s founder Stelios Agapios, who created the company with George Mourlas, said they responded to a need. “My grandmother said that homes need people. They need to have life to operate. Her siblings, six in number, all migrated to Sydney and their homes here were maintained by kind relatives and friends. The concern of my grandmother and mother for their homes is what lead to the creation of this company. Our goal was to liven up homes and, with them, the island’s economy. To welcome guests from around the world to smell, feel and lean about our history,” he said.