Faculty Author Type

Current Faculty [Douglas C. Harris]

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



property; condominium; ownership; land; anti-social behaviour; short-term rental; collective sales


The institution of property arises in the tension between autonomy and community. It serves not simply to demarcate spaces of individual control and authority, but also to balance individual with collective interests. Private property and common property emphasize individual and collective interests, respectively, but the bifurcation may not be as stark as it appears. Condominium constructs separate titles to individual units, and these private interests are carefully mapped in a constituting plan that marks their boundaries. Democratic rights, usually conveyed in the form of shares in a condominium corporation, are the third element of ownership within condominium. The analysis reveals that the spatial, political, and temporal embedding of property is straining accepted understandings of land ownership, and judges and legislators are responding to this pressure by changing the character of ownership in land. Property within condominium is embedded within a political community of owners with the capacity to make and enforce rules over the use of property.



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