Researcher

Douglas Harris

Email: harris@allard.ubc.ca

Institution/Organisation: The University of British Columbia
Position: Professor and Nathan T. Nemetz Chair in Legal History
Biographical Information: Douglas Harris is a Professor and Nathan T Nemetz Chair in Legal History Peter A Allard School of Law The University of British Columbia. He teaches in the areas of property law and legal history, and his research focuses on the nature of property ownership within condominium. Recent publications include "Condominium Government and the Right to Live in the City", "Embedded Property", and "Condominium: A Transformative Innovation in Property and Local Government."

 

Authored/ Co-authored Research

Title: Owning and Dissolving Strata Property

Published: (2017) 50:4 UBC Law Review 935

This paper has been peer reviewed

Author/Co-authors: Douglas Harris

Keywords: Home ownership, Law, Redevelopment / termination,

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Summary:

Strata or condominium property creates multiple privately owned lots or units within an association of owners. Dissolving strata property involves winding-up the association and terminating the private interests. As a result, the non-consensual dissolution of strata property involves the taking of property from those owners who oppose dissolution. This article analyzes British Columbia’s move to facilitate non-consensual dissolution by lowering the required threshold in a dissolution vote from unanimous consent to 80 percent of owners.

Title: Anti-Social Behaviour, Expulsion from Condominium, and the Reconstruction of Ownership

Published: (2016) 54:1 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 53

Author/Co-authors: Douglas Harris

Keywords: Dispute resolution / courts / tribunals, Home ownership, Law,

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Summary:

Statutory condominium regimes facilitate massive increases in the density of owners. The courts are responding to this spatial reorganization of ownership by reconstructing what it means to be the owner of an interest in land. This article analyzes the ten cases over eight years (2008-2015) in which Canadian courts grant eviction and sale orders against owners within condominium for anti-social behaviour.

Title: Dissolving Condominium, Private Takings, and the Nature of Property

Published: Harris, D. C., & Gilewicz, N. (2015). Dissolving condominium, private takings, and the nature of property. Rethinking Expropriation Law II: Context, Criteria, and Consequences of Expropriation (The Hague, NL: Eleven, 2015), 263-297.

This paper has been peer reviewed

Author/Co-authors: Douglas Harris, Nicole Gilewicz

Keywords: Comparative research, Dispute resolution / courts / tribunals, Law, Redevelopment / termination,

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Summary:

Perhaps the single most important decision in the lifecycle of a condominium is the one to dissolve it. This paper gives an overview of various dissolution rules in various common-law jurisdictions with statutory condominium regimes, describes the rule in British Columbia before turning to several court cases revealing common issues. We develop the argument that the non-consensual dissolution of condominium is a form of private-to-private takings, in order to reveal that the choice between dissolution rules is also a choice between different conceptions of property.

Title: Condominium Government and the Right to Live in the City

Published: Harris, D. C. (2019). Condominium Government and the Right to Live in the City. Canadian Journal of Law & Society/La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société, 34(3), 371-392.

This paper has been peer reviewed

Author/Co-authors: Douglas Harris

Keywords: Dispute resolution / courts / tribunals, Governance, Law,

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Summary:

This article considers a conflict between residential-unit owners and a commercial-unit owner within a condominium development in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Drawing from material produced in litigation, the article situates the dispute within its property and urban contexts to argue that condominium government requires attention, not just for its impact on owners or residents, but also because cities must now account for, work alongside, and, in some circumstances, contend with these rapidly proliferating sites of government that are helping to shape who has the right to live in the city.

Title: Embedded Property

Published: Douglas C Harris, “Embedded Property” in Randy K Lippert & Stefan Treffers, eds, Condominium Governance and Law: Global Urban Perspectives (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021) 29.

Author/Co-authors: Douglas Harris

Keywords: Disputes/conflict, Governance, Home ownership, Law, Redevelopment / termination,

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Summary:

This paper offers the concept of embedded property as a way of thinking about and understanding condominium property, and of explaining how ownership of land within condominium is changing the character of ownership. In doing so, it describes property within condominium as spatially embedded, politically embedded, and temporally embedded, and then demonstrates how these different modes by which condominium embeds property are forcing courts and legislatures to reconsider long-accepted incidents of land ownership.

Title: Condominium: A Transformative Innovation in Property and Local Government

Published: Douglas C Harris, “Condominium: A Transformative Innovation in Property and Local Government” in Nicole Graham, Margaret Davies, & Lee Godden, eds, The Routledge Handbook of Property, Law, and Society (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2022) 113.

Author/Co-authors: Douglas Harris

Keywords: Governance, Home ownership, Law,

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Summary:

As one form of common interest community, condominium packages private property with a co-ownership interest in common property and rights to participate in the governing organisation. A statutory innovation, the condominium form has been adopted in jurisdictions around the world and has quickly become the dominant form of land ownership for new-build housing in many cities. As an increasingly prominent feature of urban real estate, condominium is changing the nature of ownership and of local government, and is one of the defining institutions of our time.