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Discouraging Mainland Rentals in the Knowledge Base


Prokofy Neva
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About 6.5 years ago, I wrote a blog post about how the Lindens discourage Mainland rentals - in one way, by not having a sufficiently robust description in their Knowledge Base. 

I tied this to the problems of growth of SL because renting land is one way that people can "make a living" in SL if they are not content creators or don't want to join the sex industry. 

I see years later, that Knowledge Base (formerly "wiki" article) is still unchanged with this strange locution, "You may have heard," as if there is something illicit about Mainland rentals by contrast with island rentals.

For those of us who remember when rentals were ONLY Mainland and there were only a handful of islands fully owned by people who didn't tend to rent them out, this seems absurd.

Here it is:

You may have heard that some Residents offer land for rent on the mainland, which works differently in some regards. One big difference is that you don't do the act of buying a parcel (which shows you as the parcel owner in ABOUT LAND - GENERAL as described above). instead, you might be offered to join a group which gives you the permission to place objects on a designated parcel with your group tag.

This arrangement is common in many mainland malls, where stalls are rented out (and there may be advertisements for such an arrangement). A similar pattern can be found in cottages, hotels, and other destinations.

 

What's especially obnoxious about this item is that it makes it seem as if your "buying" of an island parcel is some kind of more "sure thing" than a Mainland rental. Given how many people have been screwed over by island dealers who dump their sims and their customers without notice, I think that's unfair. And this leaves out that when you join the group, you are often given more powers that are virtually the same as your ownership -- ban, deed media, change parcel description, terraform, etc. It's just all left out because of the clear distaste that the LL mindset has for Mainland.

This really needs additions and rewriting. I don't want to take this on because it means dealing with editing wars, Lindens with set views, etc. etc. But someone might want to do this.

 

 

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Since you are a mainland landlord, I can see where you dislike the wording of that paragraph you quoted.  Probably LLwon't change the wording as they want to encourage mainland ownership rather than mainland rentals.  It may not seem 'fair' but LL is known for doing what is best for them not their customers, like mainland landlords in this case, and it is unlikely they'll change that. 

In my opinion the article is pretty balanced.  Here is the entire article for those that care to read it: https://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Renting-land-from-other-Residents/ta-p/1420695

You make it sound as renting mainland is less risky than private estate land.  Anytime you don't pay tier LL directly, but pay a landlord, or estate owner, you run the risk of them not paying their tier to LL and losing their property.  Mainland isn't more immune to this happening then private estates. I've heard of it happening there as well as private estates.  Since most people rent from private estates, they probably get more 'publicity' than when it happens on the mainland, just because there are more private estates.  The key is to always rent from a reputable estate or landlord.  Do your homework and talk to people who rent from them and also find out how long they've been renting out land.  The longer the better and the less likely you will have a problem.

It is also true that some private estates allow you to 'buy' and 'resell' your land, however that doesn't mean that you aren't a tenant of the estate owner.  However it may be an investment on private estates that are in high demand with rising land prices.  Again it's up to the individual to determine what the potential rewards may or may not be.

There are advantages to renting private estate land as well as mainland, and disadvantages, other then the stability of the landlord.  I won't list them all here as that article does a pretty good job.  There are also plenty of threads expressing opinons and personal experiences that do compare them and anyone interested can look them up in the forum search.

Like everything, it is up to each individual to decide what is the best situation for them after doing their homework before they put any money into a rental.

 

 

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Nonsense. 

You need to spend more time actually logging in and flying around the Mainland.

Linden Lab originally *encouraged* Mainland rentals literally and demonstrativelyl from Philip Linden to Ben Linden on down because they realized this was a way to encourage concurrency -- period.

For those unwilling to pay $9.95 a month and incur additional tier perhaps, or pay higher island rates, Mainland rentals were great and still are, and the huge number of them attests to that.

Renting Mainland IS DEFINITELY less risky than "owning" an island that has merely been transferred to your group.

Mainland rentals do not have "set up fees," i.e. purchase prices to "own" a parcel you will go on paying tier on until the landlord of the island pulls it.

While Mainland landlords can pull your land out from under you, it's much less likely as *it is only a parcel -- not an entire sim involved*. And you will not have shelled out that "set-up fee" or "purchase price" but only started paying rent. 

Mainland rents are a lot cheaper and some of them (like mine) have refunds. Thus the exposure is FAR less and it's only the desire to be contrarian to people whose opinions you generally don't like that is causing this claim on your part (plus undying loyalty to LL no matter what).

If you can't understand the difference between losing a parcel you just paid $900 Lindens for, and losing a homestead you paid US $100 for, well, I can't help you.

To claim that anything involving buying land of any kind in SL is an "investment" is not to understand either the brutality of rentals math or business in general. Buying land is a business cost, a sink, a loss -- a loss you can't make back generally even in a year. The market is too volatile to bank on making back such SUNK COSTS.

The Lindens know that it is in their interests to encourage rentals and sales on Mainland -- period. Hey, why do you think that they themselves are now getting into Mainland sales again BIG LEAGUE!!! Hello! Otherwise they'd just encourage more island sales. Oops, they did that with the buydown but the number of islands still keeps dropping. Oh, well.

This article DOES NOT do a good job and even Lindens would concede that. It's just nobody has ever challenged them. They need more than just the rewrite on rentals -- they need to encourage buying Mainland, period, which they have not done for years.

 

 

 

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

Nonsense. 

You need to spend more time actually logging in and flying around the Mainland.

Linden Lab originally *encouraged* Mainland rentals literally and demonstrativelyl from Philip Linden to Ben Linden on down because they realized this was a way to encourage concurrency -- period.

For those unwilling to pay $9.95 a month and incur additional tier perhaps, or pay higher island rates, Mainland rentals were great and still are, and the huge number of them attests to that.

Renting Mainland IS DEFINITELY less risky than "owning" an island that has merely been transferred to your group.

Mainland rentals do not have "set up fees," i.e. purchase prices to "own" a parcel you will go on paying tier on until the landlord of the island pulls it.

While Mainland landlords can pull your land out from under you, it's much less likely as *it is only a parcel -- not an entire sim involved*. And you will not have shelled out that "set-up fee" or "purchase price" but only started paying rent. 

Mainland rents are a lot cheaper and some of them (like mine) have refunds. Thus the exposure is FAR less and it's only the desire to be contrarian to people whose opinions you generally don't like that is causing this claim on your part (plus undying loyalty to LL no matter what).

If you can't understand the difference between losing a parcel you just paid $900 Lindens for, and losing a homestead you paid US $100 for, well, I can't help you.

To claim that anything involving buying land of any kind in SL is an "investment" is not to understand either the brutality of rentals math or business in general. Buying land is a business cost, a sink, a loss -- a loss you can't make back generally even in a year. The market is too volatile to bank on making back such SUNK COSTS.

The Lindens know that it is in their interests to encourage rentals and sales on Mainland -- period. Hey, why do you think that they themselves are now getting into Mainland sales again BIG LEAGUE!!! Hello! Otherwise they'd just encourage more island sales. Oops, they did that with the buydown but the number of islands still keeps dropping. Oh, well.

This article DOES NOT do a good job and even Lindens would concede that. It's just nobody has ever challenged them. They need more than just the rewrite on rentals -- they need to encourage buying Mainland, period, which they have not done for years.

 

 

 

But nothing in that changes the fact that Amethyst was comparing renting Mainland to renting, not buying, private land.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

But nothing in that changes the fact that Amethyst was comparing renting Mainland to
renting
, not
buying,
private land.

I think that's what Prokofy was talking about, too. I took the comparisons of owning Mainland vs Estates to highlight the different exposures of landlords, and how that in turn differentially affected the tenants' risks in those two situations. For example, a Mainland landlord can treat each rented parcel individually, but an Estate must maintain profitability a whole sim at a time.

That passage in the KB article does seem oddly prefaced by "[y]ou may have heard" but I'm not optimistic for a change in those old Knowledge Base pages.

Just in passing, I doubt LL cares whether tenants choose Mainland or Estates because either way most of the rent ends up paying land fees to the Lab. Until the recent grandfathered rate buy-down, Estates generally paid somewhat more per sq.m. than large Mainland landlords, and so Estates may have been favored slightly on the premise that land rental is a zero-sum game. On the other side of the ledger, though, Mainland regions incur fixed costs to the Lab, so additional income from more Mainland rentals isn't offset by any more operational expense, in contrast to the cost of operating more regions to get more Estate income.

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Qie Niangao wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:

But nothing in that changes the fact that Amethyst was comparing renting Mainland to
renting
, not
buying,
private land.

I think that's what Prokofy was talking about, too. I took the comparisons of
owning
Mainland vs Estates to highlight the different exposures of landlords, and how that in turn differentially affected the
tenants'
risks in those two situations. For example, a Mainland landlord can treat each rented parcel individually, but an Estate must maintain profitability a whole sim at a time.

That passage in the KB article does seem oddly prefaced by "[y]ou may have heard" but I'm not optimistic for a change in those old Knowledge Base pages.

Just in passing, I doubt LL cares whether tenants choose Mainland or Estates because either way most of the rent ends up paying land fees to the Lab. Until the recent grandfathered rate buy-down, Estates generally paid somewhat more per sq.m. than large Mainland landlords, and so Estates may have been favored slightly on the premise that land rental is a zero-sum game. On the other side of the ledger, though, Mainland regions incur fixed costs to the Lab, so additional income from more Mainland rentals isn't offset by any more operational expense, in contrast to the cost of operating more regions to get more Estate income.

As far as I can tell from what Prokofy was saying (often an interesting exercise) he was comparing the advantages of renting a Mainland parcel to the disadvantages of renting a private island. Amethyst, I assuming was comparing renting mainland parcels to renting private parcels.

The parcel level is the only level that Mainland and private islands are really comparable. Someone wanting to use a very large  chunk of Mainland would be farther ahead just "buying" it directly from Linden Lab. There also isn't a real Mainland version of renting a homestead - the "stacked domes" rentals are similar but much more limited.

On the parcel level there isn't that much difference. If a landlord decides that renting out parcels on a partially-filled region is unsupportable they usually have spare unrented equivalent parcels their tenants can be relocated to. Any given region isn't really dependent on its renters.

Mainland does have the advantage that the land won't completely disappear and, since most Mainland rental property is group owned and the Lab can be quite leisurely in wiping builds from group-owned land, it's possible you could squat for some time even if your landlord went out of business.

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No, I'm comparing renting parcels on Mainland to renting parcels on islands because that's what most people do. And renting a homestead is like renting a big parcel.

And no, because she's claiming that island "buying" is "buying" when it is not, it is a glorified form of RENTING.

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Your just being obstinate, because you didn't like my post. 

I was comparing renting parcels on the mainland vs private estates. Not regions, which you somehow injected into my post.  You are also ignoring certain points I made so I'll repeat them.  I said:

"It is also true that some private estates allow you to 'buy' and 'resell' your land, however that doesn't mean that you aren't a tenant of the estate owner."

Clearly the red part says that you are still a tenant, tenants aren't owners.  I just brought up the fact that some estates allow you to buy and sell your parcel.  IE: Buy and sell your lease.

Renting a region is not like renting a parcel either because most estates give you estate manager rights, which gives you many more options.  That also means you can do anything with the exception of a couple things the estate owner can, which most likely you won't care about.  So it's not like a mainland parcel at all where even a landlord that owns the land on entire sim does not own the estate and can't do what an estate owner can.  Mainland regions in fact are owned by LL.  So mainland 'owners' don't really own their land either.  LL does.  LL can take mainland as well as private estates away at any time for any reason. (See TOS)

While it is true, that if a landlord doesn't pay the tier on a region it can poof, mainland although it doesn't can be repossessed by the owner, LL.  If a person loses their rental as a result, what difference does it make if a whole region goes vs. one or several parcels.  The result is the same for the tenant.  It happens with mainland rentals as well estate rentals.  But it's like a plane crash vs a car crash.  You hear more about the plane crashes in the national news only because more people are involved at one time.  You rarely hear of individual car crashes in the nation news.  That's why I advised anyone renting either mainland or private estate land:

"The key is to always rent from a reputable estate or landlord.  Do your homework and talk to people who rent from them and also find out how long they've been renting out land.  The longer the better and the less likely you will have a problem."

Mainland rents aren't a lot cheaper.  Some are, but most estate rentals compare very favorably with mainland.  I know that from long experience.  The ones that are higher generally offer more amenities to the renter, which their renters are willing to pay for.  I rented from a private estate off and on over the years and yes it was just a bit more expensive than mainland.  BUT, they had a whole sim for horseback riding, over 100 sims for sailing open only to tenants and their guests, a private sandbox, a scuba diving area that meandered through several sims, free big name live concerts, a marina where you could dock your yacht for free, and numerous common areas where you could do a lot of other things too.

And I never said buying an estate parcel for the purpose of subleasing it to tenants for profit was feasible.  Most estates don't allow subleasing to start with. Most 'buyers' that look at it as an investment use the land themselves.  The 'investment' only pays off if the estate is in high demand and they can successfully sell the land (or the lease if you prefer) for more than what they paid for it.  When I mentioned this fact, btw, I did say: "Again it's up to the individual to determine what the potential rewards may or may not be."

Nowadays, most estates that don't allow buying and selling of land, and even some that do, charge a fee for 'buying' IE titling the land to you but most of the time that fee is either $1L or if more credited to the first rent that is due.  So there isn't added expense to the tenant.

The truth is that most renters in SL rent from private estates.  So they must see more advantage in it than mainland, although that's not true for everyone and people must decide for themselves.  (I colored that so you wouldn't miss it).  That's why I also said in my original post:

"Like everything, it is up to each individual to decide what is the best situation for them after doing their homework before they put any money into a rental."

BTW, I do log in almost daily, if I'm not building sims on other grids (It's what I do as a business in SL and other grids).  I also rent mainland on the Blake Sea presently and have rented other parcels in the past, as well as private estate parcels.  I was also a private estate owner of a number of sims for years and rented out land.

Secondly I don't have to quote you "undying loyalty to LL no matter what".  My friends know that's not true at all.  I don't rant against them in the forum here like you do, but I haven't always agreed with them either.  That's because I recognize they are a business not a charity nor do they have any obligation to promote any resident's business and will always act in their self interest. 

You really should get out more Prok, and check out your private estate competition because you are making assumptions that are just wrong.

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

No, I'm comparing renting parcels on Mainland to renting parcels on islands because that's what most people do.
And renting a homestead is like renting a big parcel.

And no, because she's claiming that island "buying" is "buying" when it is not, it is a glorified form of RENTING.

ANY form of land "ownership" in Second Life is a glorified form of renting.

Meanwhile, you're saying "You should own a dog instead of a cat because a cat can and will bite your entire head off if it gets irritated with you." Because a tiger can do that, and a tiger is "like a big cat."

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