Knowledge Base Article of the Week #12: Abandoned Land

Hello everybody! In this week’s article, we’ll explore the mysteries surrounding abandoned land on the Second Life mainland:

  • Is this land abandoned?
  • How do I abandon my land?
  • What happens to land once it’s abandoned?
  • Can I trigger an auction for land that appears to be abandoned?
  • Will Linden Lab sell abandoned land directly to me if I have a strong claim to it?

You can find the answers to these questions and more in this week’s KBAotW: the Abandoned Land FAQ. Just click the link, and log in to view the article.

As always, if you’d like to chat about the Knowledge Base, or if you’d just like to give us a piece of your mind in realtime (as long as it’s related to the KB!), you can find me and Jon at our pier-shaped office in Beaumont on Friday at 2PM PST. See you there!

Jeremy Linden

This entry was posted in Community, Customer Service, Resident Experience, Tips & Tricks. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Knowledge Base Article of the Week #12: Abandoned Land

  1. Calixus Voom says:

    No wonder, LL issues some news on abandoned land. Plenty of it coming up with their new bank-ban.

  2. U M says:

    Does this mean your finally going to pick up the land that the land owner finally junked and left to litter the sl landscape! I HOPE!!!!!!!!!

  3. U M says:

    After reading the “Is this land abandoned?” there still many “IFS” and “WHATS” So inturn i doubt this will make much difference. SOme but not all. What about talking to land owners that purposly junkup their land so the surrounding owners are forced to sell out because it appears that griefter littered the land . But really its the land owners doing this to junk up their own land so they can buy surrounding land at a cheap price why not do more what you “TIRED” to do with this 2Is this land abandoned?” its just another waste of energy!

  4. Jeremy Linden says:

    @U M

    While unpleasant, the fact that someone took the time to litter their own land indicates that the land is not abandoned. However, if you feel that the landowner has violated the Terms of Service or Community Standards with his litter, you should file an Abuse Report and our support team will investigate.

  5. Lukas Mensing says:

    Hello …
    What about a parcel (in Alviso region, mainland). The owner didn’t Log-in since june 2006!!! 19 months, more than a year and a half
    It’s not deeded and no one comes there…
    There is a Temp-Rez thing there that lower the regions performance…
    Is this land considered as abandoned?

  6. Locke Traveler says:


    From my experience, abandoned land is left with no auto-return, so ANYONE can litter it, including griefers. Additionally, landowners that have left in-totality retain their claim over the land, but do not appear in the Abuse Report user search. How are residents supposed to take action in these scenarios? The last time I witnessed this was with an abandoned parcel full of griefer objects and litter in-between a Linden InfoHub and a new NCI location – about 10 NCI Land Officers had to descend upon the parcel and mass-AR the junk in order to summon Linden Liasons to set up an autoreturn.

    Surely there must be a better way.

  7. Jeremy Linden says:

    @ Locke Traveler

    As noted in the article, if you can’t find the person’s name in Search, then the parcel is probably abandoned and you can take the actions indicated to try to either purchase it or get it put up for auction.

  8. Meade Paravane says:

    I’d double check with the land team on the “can I get it directly” bit. A friend & I wanted a 512 that we owned all four sides of – it went to auction instead and I ended up paying some truly silly price for it.. 😦

    Aside from that, good as always, Jeremy!

  9. Hewitt Huet says:

    Jeremy, once again kudos for a germane, useful and interesting post. I always click though any link for your articales and posts. You’re the best , man!!!

  10. Harold Anselm says:

    I feel like people who have ajoining land should have first rights to buy, at no more than avg market rate to start. If they decide to have a bidding war over it, it should be restricted to ajoining landowners.

  11. Ciaran Laval says:

    Ok first of all, although you point out that this FAQ relates to mainland, the FAQ itself doesn’t state that.

    Secondly, never ever ever abandon mainland. The proliferation of land bots means that you will always get something for your land, if you really have had enough and want out fast, then take some bucks with you by setting your land for sale for just less than the base price per square metre of mainland. You can check this in the land sales tab. Your land will sell very quickly.

    I think the FAQ could do with some alternative suggestions to people before informing them how to abandon land.

  12. Hazno Bazno says:

    You know… My experience has been that autoreturn should be set to 1 minute as a flat out default. I own a lot of land and it p*sses me off big time every time I divide my land every parcel resets to autoreturn of zero. I have to go in on every parcel and reset that or else I suffer the possibility of being griefed. In fact, I think everything should be disabled also by default. When I create a new parcel the default lets people throw their junk on the land, run scripts, etc. It’s a pain for me to go and manually disable all that stuff for every parcel. Most newb buying “first land” have no clue (when they later on decide not to log in again) that their land is open to letting anyone build and run scripts on it and nothing gets autoreturned.

  13. Lexis Shepherd says:

    @Jeremy and filing Abuse Reports.

    I’d go easy on suggesting anyone file an abuse report to LL. That an a quarter will get you a phone call. But no one will be home. I have filed Harassment and Abuse reports and still I’m still waiting since July, 2007. For what its worth, and this is only my free advice, LL would be far better suited to getting back to supporting the fundamentals of SL rather than expending God knows what efforts on fluff like voice and large prims etc…Maybe there wouldn’t be such an abandoned land issue if there was a stable viewer, ability to tp from one region to another reliably and I didn’t fear for my inventory every day. -Cheers

  14. Bokrug says:

    Funny how the Lindens have the most boring avatars…

  15. Elbereth Witte says:

    1 minute return is an awful default.

  16. Kenny Stringer says:

    I thought we were have sim Auctions thia mouth Be gee i Guess Linden labs Lied Again no Wonder Peaple abandoned land There Cashing out Because of Bank Ban / Gambline Ban / Linden Labs Whats next ?? Were just abandoned land Freezing our bank Accounts Bause YOU DESERVIRE IT !!! 🙂

  17. Blinders Off says:

    Linden Lab semi-official policy on land management: Never have a simple rule when eight complex ones will do.

    Philip a long time ago stated he would personally like to change the entire tier/land structure concept to charge on a per meter per day owned basis. No more silly tiers, no more getting charged for land tier that you don’t use, no more getting charged an entire month for purchasing a piece of land to turnover to a friend the next day.

    Did any of those sensible concepts ever happen? LOL. Of course not. That would have been too simple.

    Question: Where do IRS employees go when they lose their jobs?
    Answer: To work for Linden Lab.


  18. Blinders Off says:

    @Lexis Shepherd:

    You are soooo right. Not to slam LL, but filing an abuse report for someone garbaging up their own land is like slamming your hand in a door. No benefit and just causes you problems.

    Linden Lab has ignored ugly, floating, rotating advertising signs. They ignore the user that was buying up 16m plots and placing rotating anti-Bush political signs all over, and trying to charge people 4000L for the privilege of having that garbage removed from their neighborhood. LL has for years ignored someone planting LL trees on their property border that extend several meters into adjoining properties, claiming “people have a right to plant trees”.

    LL abuse reports on land build issues is useless. I’m surprised Jeremy would even recommend such. He has got to know what LL does with such reports. (They have a special shredder fueled with sulfur and brimstone…). XD

  19. Hazno Bazno says:

    #15 why is a one minute autoreturn aweful? If you never mess with it anyway why is it aweful? Obviously you’ve not owned land nor had anyone drop their crap on your land that explodes into a million zombies all screaming profanities…

  20. Chaos Mohr says:

    It is great that information like this gets put to the blog as many times people are unaware of such policies. In my experience though LL will generally only let land which is less than the standard auctionable size of 512m be claimed by an adjoining landowner – this is good as it stops more ad cutters from getting the land, however I believe that adjoining landowners who make the request should be given first chance to buy that land before it goes to auction – LL has already made money on it when it was first sold at auction, and when certain land is auctioned, it ends up that someone buys the plot out of the hopes that they can get even more L$ from the adjoining landowners, especially in nice and long established regions.

    @ 11 – unless the land is really messed up, don’t set it below market value for the bots to snatch, set it in the low end of what is listed and give real people a chance to buy it – the bots are getting enough cheap land as it is, and with the recent proliferation of landbots, some of this land has been going directly to ad cutters.

  21. Lets call a spade a spade. Abandoned land goes back to LL’s for resale, which means repeated profit over the $1650 for a server that costs around $400 to build, unless the sim owner bought a mainland sim at auction for $2500, which is even funnier, then tried to flip it for double that per sqm.

    As far as everyone complaining about a mess:

    If you don’t like the mainland, why don’t you guys buy in private sims and do some research to make sure its legit? Read, ask around, spend time there talkign to residents. Most of my residents have been there for over a year and some still only pay $20 a month for a 4096 lot. Its still only priced at $25 a month USD. Everyone wants mainland so they can do what they want. Well, surprise, so can the other guy. (shakes his head and walks away)

  22. Henriksen Gibbs says:

    I’ve been seeing this one advertisement company, their box is yellow/black with a Jewish star on it, they come in, buy a big piece of land, then split of several 16sqs right in the middle of the big plot and resell. On those 16sqs that they keep they set the beginning price between 5k-20k, then for every day that goes by and they’re most times not sold the price goes down. We’ve been watching several where we reside and the ones that were 50k last week are not just under 5k.

  23. Jenny Stacolli says:

    @ 7

    If you can’t find the person’s name in search it may be more likely that they have chosen to be excluded from namesearch and not that they are a cancled account I would think.

  24. Martin Magopie says:

    “Ownership of abandoned land reverts immediately to Governor Linden, at which point it enters a queue for “processing.” Abandoned land is “processed” by cleaning it of objects and generally making it ready to sell.”

    Thyatira – I have a strong claim to it; it was mine and I bought it threw the LL auction. Are you honestly telling me because I abandoned it ;due to the fact that Gov. Linden runs threw it in odd ways and it was unusable. That LL is going to resell it and make twice the profit from the sale of that entire Sim.

    When I purchased it the “rule of law” from LL was that LL would not resell land that was deeded to Gov. Linden.

    This is not the first, second or even third time I have brought this to the attention of LL. From my point of view I was sold a sim that was terriformed improperly and LL is not going to refund me my money; no they are going to profit again.

    I think that is bad business.

    Catherine Cotton

  25. Meade Paravane says:

    Hazno, for autoreturn times, consider self-replicating objects. If you’ve got an object that spawns a bunch of copies of itself and these fill up a parcel, the 1-minute autoreturn means the sim is returning a bunch of objects every minute. Because the evil self-replicating objects can now rez more stuff – the autoreturn freed up a bunch of space – more get created.

    The short answer is that really short autoreturn times cause _more_ stress on the system – it’s easier to just leave them there for 30 minutes or so and hope somebody with return privs can disable scripts and return everything at once.

  26. SL Player™ says:

    I know of a charter resident that hasn’t logged in since mid 2003 Their house is cluttered with objects from people that have come and gone. Could this person have died? I would think with someone that hasn’t logged in that length of time would warrant a phone call to find out if they are indeed alive or dead.
    Their going to have a huge amount of cash if they ever log in again.

  27. Ryu Darragh says:

    Good point, Meade. That’s why the usual Autoreturn times are 4 Hours in most sandboxes.

  28. Does LL sell 16 m2 parcels? There is an ad farm across the linden land next to me with an ad telling people they can buy them from you folks.

    Great, just what I need …. another farm when I am trying to set up a tranquil plot.

  29. brinda allen says:

    @ 11 absolutely…I’m currently getting ready to buy and island. I’ve a “banker” i’ve done business with for awhile…the “choice” land I’m selling to him at a reduced rate yes…cause i really must get off the current tier before X day..but the rest..set it for sale at 7.5meter and the land bots snap it up before my finger leaves the mouse. no earthly/or SL reason to abandonde mainland.

  30. Marina Mincemeat says:

    @ 14 BTW & FYI if U think Torley Linden’s avatar is boring, let’s see a snapshot texture of yours please LOL

  31. Marina Mincemeat says:

    Ohh!! sorry if that last quip @ 14 was a bit off topic and i hope i can figure out how to deal with abandon land myself i have a next door neighbor that maybe abandoned some and took the house and left the sex gen bed in mid air 😉

  32. FallenAngel Erato says:

    i totally agree with Lexis Shepherd, back in 2005 the game ran fine, i only had 1 gig of ram and ran around like a champ, now have 2 gig and nothing but lag and fustrations, who cares about voice and fluffy clouds, how about fixing the problem at hand first before you add more crap, no wonder so many abondon there land, they say screw it im out of this lag fest non working game, you change so much stuff only to worsen the game how about changing the name to

  33. MarkByron Falta says:

    I’ve noticed that the abandoned land auctions don’t appear to include small plots (less than 512 sqm) that are typically used for ads farms. Does Linden simply hold these parcels until somebody makes a claim based on having nearby land, or have they cut a deal with various ad farmers to sell the plots under the table so to speak? Either way, the process needs to be transparent and ownership changes oustide of the auction process need to be published.

  34. Weedy says:

    1- Philip claimed “These things are better managed by the residents themeselves”. Abandoned land resquires intensive labor from LL staff. Rather than Governor Linden sitting on millions of square meters of unpair tier, abandoned land used to go directly from one paid tier into another.
    2- Andrew claimed abandoned land was taking a “considerable amount of staff time” Yet this policy requires even more staffing and sytem development.
    3- Several Linden staff have been setting abandoned land for sale at $1.0 per sq meter, which is EXCLUSIVELY purchased by landbots.
    4- Offering land for sale (the example of this article) by issuing a ticket implies a contract with residents and failing to deliver the goods by selling at auction is tantamount to false advertising. Ticketed land sales rarely are completed as requested.

    Linden Lab had an automated system for years dealing with abandoned land, yet threw it out to glean the profits and putting residents out of work. It’s clearly a double standard of Linden Lab in competing with it’s residents.

  35. SL Toll says:

    Why in the world would anybody want to abandon land?
    The Linden Lab piggy bank is not charity is it?

    Please stop the non-sense and remove this abandon land button instead of telling us what it does. You should be educating your customers not to lose their assets-as too many do-instead of misleading them into voluntarily giving it up for no good reason.
    Shame on you LL once again!

  36. Jeremy Linden Says:
    “While unpleasant, the fact that someone took the time to litter their own land indicates that the land is not abandoned. However, if you feel that the landowner has violated the Terms of Service or Community Standards with his litter, you should file an Abuse Report and our support team will investigate.” if you understood the concept of what U M Saying Jeremy they litter the land then let LL’s clame it back 1 of my parcels is next to me who hasnt logged on in over a year its not clamed by LL’s yet …

  37. Garmin Kawaguichi says:

    I have a question about purple areas in the map ; generally these areas corresponds to an auction listed on the site – auction pages.
    But now, I can see several locations with a purple area (governor Linden, with an auction number) but no entries corresponding in the auction pages. What kind of land are they ? How can we bid for these lands?
    Thank you for an answer

  38. Crissa says:

    You know… My experience has been that autoreturn should be set to 1 minute as a flat out default.

    This is a very bad idea™ – grey-goo attacks love land that is set this way, because it can attempt endless temp rez attacks on neighboring land from it, as the land never fills up.

    Still, there needs to be a default auto-return on linden owned or abandoned land in the hour to eight hour range, so that ‘junk’ cannot accumulate over multiple days, weeks, or months.

  39. Two Cents says:

    Seriously it takes for ever to address all these land issues so there will probably need to be a guy named RealEstate Linden who just goes around to each sim in alphabetical order clearing land, setting each piece for auction or in the case of land smaller than 512 setting it to sell to those who own land next to the piece.

    I would not mind if RealEstate Linden posted to the blog which sim he is coming to next and then coming into office hours with my neighbors to discuss what to do.

    I know it would seem like an absolutely long process but everyone would know that their sim is on the list, he can skip empty sims or mainland plots that are owned by one owner and take 2 weeks if necessary to get the job done. There is a piece of land in a sim i love that has ban lines up since i started playing in 2006 and its linden land and another person who has not been inworld since 06 who has something with particles on his land left by a griefer

  40. Pingback: The Grid Live » Second Life News for January 18, 2008

  41. Klaatu Congrejo says:

    I agree with Two Cents above. There really does need to be a Linden who’s sole job is to check out these ‘abandoned’ or ‘long-unused’ lands. Should there be a time limit before land is considered abandoned? Maybe. But as one of the other comments above says, how do you know whether or not the landowner has died if s/he hasn’t logged on for 5 years! Perhaps after, say, 12 months LL should send an email to the landowner asking if they want to keep the land or has it been abandoned?
    As for 16m plots, let me tell you my story – I had one right next to one of my lands recently and it was owned by Gov.Linden! It had 3 huge trees on it (the 3-prim limit for that size land) with wide branches that covered about a third of my 1024 block. I sent several IM’s asking for the trees to be removed – but no response.
    In desperation I contacted Concierge support who suggested I file a ‘land encroachment grief report’. They also suggested I would probably be entitled to buy the adjoining land from LL.
    I did as suggested, and the trees were removed. But my request to buy the adjoining 16m block (because I didn’t want it to end up with an adfarmer) was rejected on the basis that I need to have ‘3 common land borders’ with the land.
    That 16m block eventually ended up with an adfarmer who planted a huge neon rotating adcube on it! So I decided to sell my 1024m land very cheaply.
    I recently inspected my old 1024m land and it has now been cut up into lots of 16m blocks for sale to adfarmers!
    It makes ya wanna weep with the frustration of it all!!

  42. Tegg B says:

    Hazno Bazno Says: You know… My experience has been that autoreturn should be set to 1 minute as a flat out default. I own a lot of land and it p*sses me off big time every time I divide my land every parcel resets to autoreturn of zero. I have to go in on every parcel and reset that or else I suffer the possibility of being griefed.
    1minute autoreturn default would suck, I can just imagine dividing parcels making a nametag building booboo and having everything on the group land returned to me by accident. If you ever had a 68 storey condo returned to you in 300 pieces by enabling autoreturn you would know what I mean.

  43. Tegg B says:

    SL Toll Says: Why in the world would anybody want to abandon land?

    Possibly to show how 100% pissed off with SL they are when leaving.
    And setting small plots for sale at less than market price, is pretty much the same as employees recieving kickbacks from the landbots & adfarmers to sell direct to them only.

  44. Brizone Habilis says:

    After reading all these comments, I can’t imagine ever wanting to buy land in SL. I think I’ll sit back and wait to see if the environment ever stabilizes. Lol!

    Feels just like AOL was in the early 1990s, right at the beginning. The early adopters all left, because they treated their customers so badly. We all signed up with their new competitors.

    That day will dawn for the Lindens too, if they fail to take care of the basics. Count on it.

  45. Martin Magpie says:

    @34 “3- Several Linden staff have been setting abandoned land for sale at $1.0 per sq meter, which is EXCLUSIVELY purchased by landbots.”

    Absolutely correct and might I add POINTLESS on the behalf of Linden Lab to do so!

    What does a grid and a shepherd have in common?

  46. Digital Digital says:

    Excellent information! Thank You 😀 😀

  47. U M says:

    Strange $1sq meter are being bought up by the Linden Bots.OOps i mean the land bots………… :/

  48. U M says:

    “4 Jeremy Linden Says:

    January 17th, 2008 at 9:01 AM PST
    @U M

    While unpleasant, the fact that someone took the time to litter their own land indicates that the land is not abandoned. However, if you feel that the landowner has violated the Terms of Service or Community Standards with his litter, you should file an Abuse Report and our support team will investigate.”

    Thank you For taking time to read my blog remark, problem is I have sent in many abuse reportrs but i did not get any really but well working on it. thats 3 months ago. I filed tickets about this and i have nothing new to report back. Is there anything that can be done?

  49. Raymond Figtree says:

    IMO: You should never abandon land. It’s the same as throwing money away.

    Simply set your land for less than .1 per meter below the lowest listing on the For Sale Mainland page. For example, if the first listing is selling for L$8.6, set yours for L$8.5 a meter. It will sell in minutes. If you need to unload it instantly, set it for .2 or .3 per meter lower than the first listing. Sort by 512 meters or greater as well to get the right price for your land if it is 512 or larger.

  50. Pingback: designswarm thoughts » Blog Archive » The dusty corners of the Internet

Comments are closed.