Changes have been made in how abandoned land on the main land is handled. I’m not into buying SL land so, I’m not sure exactly how it has been working. However in the Simulator User Group the Lindens were discussing changes to the system. (link)
When tier is not paid land goes into an abandoned status. For three days the land is in a BUY BACK grace status. The owner can buy the land back for L$0 cost. The precise timing is a bit fuzzy. As I understand once the computer systems mark the land abandoned, the counter starts. No one knows exactly when the counter starts, or at least they didn’t say. As best I can tell there is no way for a resident to predict when someone will abandon land, unless the owner tells them. Even then I suspect there is no way to know when the computer will update the land’s status.
The anyone buy status is for first time abandoned land. It seems there is some sort of limit to avoid rapid turnover of land, but that is really unclear to me.
At the end of 72 hours the status goes from owner buy to anyone buy. The system scans for land that needs to convert every 5 minutes. So, depending on server loads and timing the grace period is 72 hours plus or minus a few minutes.
Kelley Linden anticipates some of the current parcels with abandoned status to be handled manually as things change. After that batch of abandoned main lands is auctioned off it will be over. Main land will be handled by the automated system.
It may be that large parcels will be handled differently. One could talk to Guy Linden and find out how large parcels are planned to be handled.
Consideration has been given to allowing neighbors first right of refusal, so to speak. But, that seems to be a complicated issue for both server and viewer teams. So, it is unlikely to implemented.
Hopefully you have gathered the estate land is not included in the change.
We have been hearing rumors of the land revenue model for the Lab needing to change. This may indicate that the Lab has recognized the problem and is executing some plan… or not.
These changes will be officially announced before the switch is thrown. It will be tested in the Release Channels before the announcement. I think Next week or the week after.