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Theorising Power Relationships in Multi-owned Residential Developments: Unpacking the Bundle of Rights

Sarah Blandy, Jennifer Dixon and Ann Dupuis
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Sarah Blandy: School of Law, University of Leeds, 20 Lyddon Terrace, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK, S.Blandy@leeds.ac.uk
Jennifer Dixon: School of Architecture and Planning, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland, New Zealand, J.Dixon@auckland.ac.nz
Ann Dupuis: School of Social and Cultural Studies, Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland, New Zealand, l: A. Dupuis@massey.ac.nz

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 13, 2365-2383

Abstract: This article foregrounds the complex connections between property and law in the multi-owned residential sites which are becoming increasingly common in many countries. Empirical research into intensive housing developments in New Zealand and gated communities in England found that, despite differences in legal structures, individual owners often expressed frustration at their lack of control over the on-going management of such developments. This article suggests an analytical framework for considering and explaining issues of power and control amongst developers, residents and managing agents of these sites. We use the concept of the 'bundle of rights' approach to property interests and ownership to explore the importance of the right to manage. Drawing on the work of Foucault, Bourdieu, Clegg and Callon, the article tracks the transfer of power and legal rights through the critical legal events identified as taking place in the process of development and sale of multi-owned residential sites. It is suggested that these analytical tools might be useful in illuminating power relationships and legal arrangements in other urban property configurations.

Date: 2006
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