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Is Linden Labs Turning a Blind Eye?


Awna Constantine
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I have been in SL for many years. I don't plan to leave in spite of its flaws. But recently something dawned on me due to the plight of a friend here in SL.

I work with her on her AMAZING sims. She has four which she rents from one of SLs many professional landlords. Due to issues that need not be discussed here, she now finds herself in a bind because the landlord has apparently vanished. I am sure most folks know what happens now, and I am not here to go into that. 

But in the course of desperately searching for a solution, we have looked into everything from finding a new land lord and moving an established set of sims en masse to giving up completely, to purchasing new sims from Linden directly.

And now I come to my point. It seems to me that by charging such an excruciatingly high price to set up your own sims, and having other policies in place which make it impossible to claim land abandoned by a landlord, such as a "first right of refusal" that would allow a renter to take over the tier payment of a sim when a sim reaches past due, Linden Labs turns a blind eye to many players who would gladly purchase sims directly from Linden Labs and thereby protect themselves from losing their hard work or having to start over elsewhere with another land lord where in the end they still have no surety that that landlord won't vanish with their funds.

I do not believe that if Linden Labs lowered their set up fees or even simply offered a first right of refusal to the primary renter of a sim when said sim falls into delinquency, that they would lose money. Frankly. I believe such a simple step would actually increase land values. Not only secondarily to the land barons but also firstly to Linden Labs.

Once a sim has passed its tier date, don't just delete it Lindens. Set it for sale with objects to the primary parcel holder. Which isn't hard to figure out cause most are set to a group. Contact the owner of that group. And thereby give a renter the opportunity to come up with the cost of a sim transfer to have it placed in their name. If they refuse or cannot within the allotted time. Delete it.

Stop turning a blind eye to the wide open door that allows for fraud and lose of hard work and be reasonable. Make some honest money and reduce the stress this current system causes players.

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I had a similar thing happen to me, with the twist that the estate owner had not paid his tiers for months, but had promised to sell the island and promised to put in a ticket. Whether he put int he ticket or not, I am not sure. Eventually it became clear that the ticket was not going through because he was not willing or able to pay the past tier that would have been necessary to unban his account. As a result, even though I offered to buy the sim from LL, they chose to take it down, the first time with many of my objects on it. I had to put in a ticket to have it bought back up. 

My advice is if your friend wants control of the island, buy them used from a trusted individual. If you rely on a landlord and rent from them, then there is always a chance you may get into that bind if something goes wrong and LL doesn't receive payment and they're essentially AWOL. I considered renting an island for a long time. There are a lot of pros to doing so. The fact that you are not the estate owner is a con, but also a plus if something were ever to happen to your friend and she would be unable to pay. 

I suggest listing out the pros and cons to both renting and owning and island. Both come with their own set of risks. I also suggest buying estates used. You can get them usually for $300 or less US, just make sure the seller is legit and do the ticket transfer and exchange of Linden through the ticketing process (never pay the resident direct), that way if the deal falls through your friend doesn't lose money. 

Best,

Teagan Tunwarm

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If she rents that many sims she would be better off in the long run buying her own.  She can avoid the huge set up fee by buying them on the secondary market.  Often you can pick them up for only the transfer fee or few hundred dollars depending on how far the tier is paid in advance.  She does have to have at least one full prim sim to own homesteads, so if she has only homesteads that may be a deal breaker for her.

The advantage is that she would pay her tiers directly to LL and not have to worry about disappearing landlords and have full control over the estate.  Chances are her total tiers will be lower too and probably in the long run make up any amount she pays for them in the savings..

If she is interested in this option, she can monitor the forums and MP here for sims and estates with full estate right transfers.  There are also several groups she can join in world designed for people who buy and sell sims to advertise they are looking or selling.

I'm not sure why LL doesn't put abandoned private sims up for sale unless it is more trouble than its worth to them.  There is also an issue with the disappearing estate owner reappearing.  If the reason for their disappearance was due to a serious RL issue that get resolved, they may want to have the islands restored.  Once a sim has a name, no other sim can use that name.

If she can't afford to buy an estate herself and/or wants to continue to rent then there are rez boxes you can get that she can pack up the entire sim in so it is easier to move and restore.  Perhaps under the circumstances LL would send her a raw file of the terraform, which is possible to do , but only the estate owner can do that using estate tools.  Doesn't hurt to ask.

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