Living closely: residents' health and wellbeing in small multi-owned residential buildings

Iris Levin, Kathy Arthurson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the causes, the nature and the extent of unneighbourly relations between neighbours living in small multi-owned residential buildings (MOBs, sometimes called strata) in Australian cities, and the effect of these relations on the health and wellbeing of residents. The impact of neighbour relations and conflicts on residents' health and wellbeing has not been explored before in the context of small MOBs in Australia (under 12 units). Design/methodology/approach: The research involved an analysis of secondary data on common problems experienced in MOBs between neighbours, in-depth face-to-face interviews with twenty-six residents and interviews with five managers of management agencies in metropolitan Melbourne (Victoria) and Adelaide (South Australia), Australia. Findings: When strata processes and management worked well residents were positive about living in such an arrangement. However, when the strata group was less harmonious residents reported that it impacted negatively on their health and wellbeing. Research limitations/implications: The study's findings are subject to the widely acknowledged limitations of small sample-based interview research. Findings indicate that there is a need to explore the benefits and disadvantages of living in small multi-owned residential buildings in Australia on a larger scale. Practical implications: There are three policy implications from the findings: a need for better education of prospective buyers regarding the nature of strata living; tighter regulation of rules for small multi-owned apartment buildings is required, (in a similar way to how the regulations operate in large apartment buildings); and a need to include private rental tenants living in strata in the everyday life around the management of the building. Originality/value: The impact of neighbourly relations and conflicts on the health and wellbeing of residents living in MOBs, particularly small ones, has not been studied adequately, as current research focuses on large apartment buildings. This research addresses a gap in the literature in the study of small living arrangements (town houses, apartment buildings, terraces), with 12 or less apartments, with a focus on residents' health and wellbeing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345-363
    Number of pages19
    JournalProperty Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


    • Conflict
    • Health and wellbeing
    • Multi-owned residential buildings
    • Neighbourly relations
    • Strata


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