Sharing sky high stories – a narrative research approach addressing the law of concerns, complaints, and conflict in multi-unit residential developments

Submission Deadline Date: 6 December 2023

Guest Editor: Dr. Rebecca Leshinsky, RMIT University, Australia, [email protected]


Sharing sky high stories is a special issue for the Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law. It supports a narrative research approach addressing the law of concerns, complaints, and conflict in multi-unit residential developments. 

Land use planning and environmental studies have a long tradition with the rich information that can be gathered from narrative research. This may be through interviews, focus groups or factual discussion from court judgements. Multi-unit residential development, be it private condominium or government/community housing, comprises of concerns, complaints, and conflict. Behind these matters are narratives involving humans as lot owners, renters, committee/board members, service providers, property/strata managers and other stakeholders. Dagan (2008, 814) reminds us there is no inherent or inevitable content to property law. We argue that the time is ripe for narrative research to play a role in gaining knowledge on the lived experiences of multi-unit stakeholders. Carruthers et al. (2021), regarding their research into the pedagogy of property law teaching, note findings from their longitudinal study that some teachers want a more critical socio-legal approach to property law, rather than strict doctrinal teaching. Sherry (2021) comments that land law contains social, economic, and political values that are obvious to legal and property theorists. These are values well known to judges but the time-pressures of modern justice limits the ability of judges to “explicate those values in their decisions”. In turn, lawyers cannot see the underlying social, economic or political rationale in property case law or doctrine (Sherry 2021). The rationale then for this special issue is to align narrative research in the legal context of property, planning and environmental matters as they relate to multi-unit residential developments. Knowledge from a legal lens on multi-unit developments, from the narratives, and stories of stakeholders, will add a richer understanding regarding the lived experiences of residents and stakeholders associated with multi-unit residential developments. 


Carruthers, Penny, Kate Galloway, and Natalie Skead. "Assessment, skills and outcomes: The changing approaches of Australian property law teachers." Australian Property Law Journal 29.3 (2021): 311-334.

Dagan, Hanoch. 2008. “The Limited Autonomy of Private Law” American Journal of Comparative Law 56(3): 809-833. 

Sherry, Cathy S., Private Governance of Condominium Land: Common Law vs Statute (2021). UNSW Law Research Paper No. 21-43, Available at SSRN: or

Submission Information

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Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Submission opens: 1 November 2022

Submission closes: 6 December 2023