When condominiums first emerged in North American cities in the 1960s, they were a new kind of housing governed by boards of resident owners volunteering in a community. Condo Conquest shows how the condo and its inner governance have since become something else entirely, taken over – or conquered – by an assemblage of firms specializing in condo law, real estate, security, and property management, as well as growing numbers of non-resident investors who purchase condo units as commodities.
Drawing on the accounts of residents and board directors in Toronto and New York and myriad other sources, Randy Lippert takes a close look at the inner workings of condoization. He shows how condo governance increasingly involves a complex set of legal, social, and spatial relationships among various elements assembled together, including commercial agents, forms of knowledge, and technologies. The first major study of condominium governance in North America, Condo Conquest questions assumptions about the condo and its governance. By illuminating the complex set of agents, processes, and forms of knowledge that have taken over the condo world, Lippert discerns a number of troubling trends that imperil the condo’s future and undermine the integrity of urban communities.
2 Condo Owners and Boards
3 Assembling the Condo: Processes, Agents, and Knowledges
4 Governing Condo Renters
5 Condo Governance, Legal Knowledges, and Surveillance
6 Policing Condo Nuisance
7 Ups and Downs of Urban Governance: High-Rise Condo Elevators
8 Conclusion: Law Reform, Assemblages, and Condo Futures
Notes; References; Index
Randy K. Lippert is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Windsor. He specializes in urban governance, socio-legal studies, policing, and security. He is the author of Sanctuary, Sovereignty, Sacrifice: Canadian Sanctuary Incidents, Power, and Law and the co-author of Municipal Corporate Security in International Context and A Criminology of Policing and Security Frontiers.
Lippert's argument is based on extensive interviews with owners, condo corporation directors, property managers, realtors, and others in Toronto and New York. Lippert builds his case with a close reading of the documents that delineate condo living: statutes that seem to grow more elaborate with each legislative revision, as well as corporation bylaws, reserve fund studies, house-rules documents, and the shorthand legal opinions that flood into condos from the newsletters of lawyers representing boards, property managers, and builders.
~John Lorinc, Literary Review of Canada