There are all kinds of ways to get Second Life land. In this article I will discuss some of the risks involved in renting land in Second Life, and what you can do to minimize those risks.

Whether you decide to rent Mainland or rent Estate land, be forewarned.  When you rent, you are at the mercy of the landowner.  Expect to pay enough for the landowner to make a profit, because if your landlady doesn’t make a profit, how is she going to pay her tier to the Lindens?  And if she doesn’t pay her tier, guess what happens to your land?  That’s right – you will lose it.  This is true, even if your own rent was paid on time.  I am not telling you this to scare you, but because it is important for you to understand.  You could make your own rent payments on time, and still end up losing your land. It isn’t fair, but that is the risk you take when you rent.

There are some things you can do to make sure you minimize your risk of losing your money on your Second Life land rental.  The first thing to do is find out as much as you can about whom you are paying rent to.  Does he own the land himself, or is he renting from someone else?  If it is Estate land, are you dealing with the Estate Owner directly, or through a third party?  How long has your landlord been in Second Life?  How many tenants do they have?  How much land do they own?  How long have they been renting Second Life land?  Do you know anyone who has done business with them?  Do they have referrals you can talk to?  How is tier paid, weekly, monthly, daily?  Do they accept PayPal?  Do they accept payment in game currency (Linden dollars)?

Yes, it can be a bit of a hassle to do that much research before renting land in Second Life, but it will be worth the effort in the long run.  You have much less risk if you are renting from someone who owns the land, rather than through a third party.  Think about it.  If you pay the landowner directly, there is only one layer between you and Linden Labs.  As long as your landlord pays his tier, chances are your land will still be there.  If you rent from a third party, you are now three layers away from Linden Labs.  You are now depending on your landlord to pay his rent or tier, AND the landowner to pay Linden Labs.  If something happens to your landlord, you will be at the mercy of the landowner, who may not even have been aware that your landlord was subleasing!  At the very least, get referrals.  Also, if you are renting from a third party, make an effort to contact the landowner.  If the landowner knows about the subleasing, he may be more likely to work with you if something happens to your landlord.

You may prefer to do business in Lindens, but look for someone who accepts PayPal.  Why?  Because in order to accept payment from PayPal, your landlord will have to reveal their email address.  Someone who is out to scam you or steal your money isn’t likely to reveal his or her real life identity.

Finally, especially if you are new to renting, pay the least amount of tier up front that you can.  If your landlord wants you to pay a month or two in advance, just remember that once you have paid, chances are you will never see that money again.  I have seen it happen many times where someone pays rent for a month or more, then *poof* their landlord disappears with all of the rent money.  Sad but true.

I hope this article helped you understand the risks involved in renting Second Life land, and how you can minimize those risks.

See you in world!

J.W. Hagarty

aka

Lizard Howl
author
Virtual Breadwinner: How to Make Money Online as a Second Life Land Baron
http://virtualbreadwinner.com