Seraphim had just started decorating one of her awesome rentals in the Maine development, had literally only hung two pictures, when she received notification she had been evicted from the rental! As she read the eviction notice in disbelief, she received a second notification saying she had been evicted from her other recent rental in Maine, as well. There was no explanation. These notices were followed by an avatar paying the one months rent she had payed for each rental, minus one day for each, into her account… still, no explanation.
Seraphim immediately IM’d the avatar, asking why she had been evicted. He sneeringly replied that there had been a mistake, the places were not, as advertised in their rental vendors, L$50 a week, with 200 prims, but L$2500 a week, with 1000 prims, and that Seraphim should have known the prices were wrong, and contacted him before she rented the properties.
Seraphim has previously rented several properties, and currently rents one… she rented all these properties using the ubiquitous SL rental vendor in front of the property, for the sum the vendor asked… that’s what they are for, isn’t it? She’s never had to contact the owner and ask if the vendor is asking the correct price… what point is a vendor you can’t rely on? Whenever she has had to contact an owner, the interactions have always been pleasant/reasonable. She has never had a problem… till this happened.
This incident is pure wrong on several levels. Firstly, Seraphim did nothing wrong! She payed one months rent, the sum asked, in advance on both properties, thus conveying her desire to rent the places for at least that period, and to be part of what seemed a lovely venture… she did this in perfectly good faith… presumably, a new community, advertising itself as wonderful and inclusive and wanting people to commit to it, would value such an indication of commitment. Secondly, the little man Seraphim was evicted by made the mistake/s in pricing, not Seraphim… to evict her with zero explanation, then, when she requested an explanation, to actually imply she was at fault… this is appalling people skills for someone attempting to start a happy community!
Thirdly, what a repulsive piece of lack of good will! Couldn’t the little man have, first, contacted Seraphim, and explained his mistake, perhaps giving her some options? Could he not have then, because of Seraphim’s obvious good faith, at least given her all her money back? Could he not, in short, have acted as though he gave a rat’s ass about her obvious desire to rent there? Instead, he evicted her without explanation/warning, then blamed her for believing the advertised price… Donald Trump would be a better PR person for this venture!
Seraphim is just one avatar in SL, she does not have much influence, but this little big-man has completely turned her against the Maine community venture… those bizarre clouds she first noticed there were an omen of the hidden ugliness in the place… the place is clearly about making fistfuls of Lindens, and absolutely nothing about creating a genuine community… it looks good on the surface, but with people like the one Seraphim just dealt with running it, how can it be anything but expensive real estate with no soul?
In RL, there is no way Seraphim could have been evicted for paying one months rent, at the asked-for rate… of course, SL is not RL, but it’s economy is supposed to follow basic RL rules of engagement, tiny little despots shouldn’t be able to behave like this. If you pay for a service, the seller should not be able to simply snatch that service back because they made a mistake, especially with zero explanation. Seraphim does not hold much hope, but she has contacted LL, asking if she has any recourse against being evicted with no explanation for doing nothing wrong. She suspects LL will not help, and this does tend leave a bitter taste.
4 thoughts on “Not Renting in Maine”
In my view, they were incorrect to evict. They should have honored the one-month rental but explained that due to the error, the rental could only be one month because they were raising the prim counts and monthly rent to corrected levels. In RL, their engaging in changing the price suddenly would be illegal because it would be fraud using what is known as bait-and-switch tactics ; meaning getting someone to buy but then switching the object and the price.
You are right. It is the landlord’s responsibility to list the correct price and the correct prim allowance. It is not anyone else’s job to figure that out. He should have apologized for his mistake but some people can’t admit their own responsibility.
In SL, it is a bit of a free-for-all so the only recourse is to let all your friends know once the dangers of renting here, the rudeness of the landlord and have them pass the information to others. Publishing once about a bad experience on various social networks also is fair. Word-of-mouth is still an important way to do business in SL. This warning of others is not about “revenge” or “getting even”. Since Lindens often do nothing to allow players maximum freedom, telling each other who or what to avoid is about helping other people to avoid an unpleasant experience.
SL is at it’s heart an escapist game which means it should be basically a pleasant, happy experience whenever possible. So publish once/Tell people once, other people will tell once, let the word spread, and move on yourself to another place that will be worth your investment of time, feelings and creativity. Maine sounds like it would not be a good place to live especially with a person who has no idea how to socialize inworld. I will let my friends know not to go to Maine.
Now that you have let people know, you can forget the idiot and find a much better, happier place with kinder people. Living in a happy place with positive energy makes a huge difference in SL. Hope you find a good community soon. It is a bit like shopping — sometimes you have to try on a lot of shoes (and some of them pinch!) to find the perfect pair. But when you do, the shoes are awesome and soon feel so comfy like you’ve had them forever. It is like that. Looking forward to seeing what new places you discover.
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As I said, I contacted LL and, as I suspected would be the case, got a long-winded reply that basically amounted to them saying ‘nah, not our problem, but, hey, we are really sorry to hear about it, better luck next time’. SL is like the Wild West… there are a few rules which most people uphold, because most people are good, but there is no-one policing the few assholes who poison everything they touch. Emelia, the avi I met in Maine, was also evicted, also with no explanation, from the house she had rented.
Thanks for your long, well-reasoned reply! I actually have my own place in SL, where I have lived for about 8 years… it’s never been much of a community, and I am, by far, it’s only consistent inhabitant over that time. That place is my SL heart, which makes setbacks like the Maine one pretty easy to get over. If you tell your friends about Maine, that’s all I could hope to have achieved with my post (:
That does sound like the Lindens. Luckily, as you said, most people are good.
One of my friends is slowly creating her own community. She lives on mainland and when land next to her goes on sale, she tells all her friends and hopes one of them buys it so now she has a few neighbors she knows.
I am like you in that I had a place that I had for a long time. I gave it up to save money but regretted it and ended up buy another space. Now I also have a partner who has his own place too where we mostly hang out. Occasionally we rent a place for a week or so for the ambiance. The last place we rented closed down after a couple weeks which was too bad — it was an interesting sim that would flood once a week. I wished we had more time to take more pics.
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I don’t rent places for that reason. I am glad you got your money back though.
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