Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities For Bond Cleaning in Melbourne

5 min read
Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities For Bond Cleaning in Melbourne

When it comes to renting in Melbourne, understanding your legal rights and responsibilities regarding bond cleaning is crucial. This knowledge can save you from disputes, ensure you receive your bond back, and help maintain a good relationship with your landlord or property manager. Let's delve into what Melbourne tenants need to know about bond cleaning from a legal standpoint.

The Basics of Bond Cleaning in Victoria

In Victoria, the law requires tenants to leave the rented property in a reasonably clean condition at the end of their tenancy. This is where bond cleaning comes in. While the term "bond cleaning" isn't explicitly used in legislation, it's commonly understood as the thorough cleaning required to return the property to the state it was in at the beginning of the tenancy, allowing for fair wear and tear.

Fair Wear and Tear: What Does It Mean?

One of the most important legal concepts to understand is "fair wear and tear." This refers to the natural deterioration of a property and its contents due to normal, everyday use. As a tenant, you're not responsible for rectifying fair wear and tear. Examples include:

  • Faded curtains or carpet due to sunlight
  • Minor scuff marks on walls from furniture
  • Worn carpet in high-traffic areas

However, damage beyond fair wear and tear is your responsibility. This might include stains on carpets, unauthorized modifications, or holes in walls.

The Importance of the Condition Report

When you first move in, you should receive a condition report detailing the state of the property. This document is vital for your bond cleaning responsibilities. At the end of your tenancy, the final condition of the property (minus fair wear and tear) should match this initial report.


  • Thoroughly review and amend the condition report when you move in
  • Take dated photographs of any existing damage
  • Keep a copy of the report for your records

Cleaning Requirements

While Victorian law doesn't provide a comprehensive cleaning checklist, the property should be left "reasonably clean." This generally means:

  • All rooms are vacuumed and mopped
  • Kitchens and bathrooms are sanitized
  • Windows are cleaned
  • Any outdoor areas are tidied

Professional cleaning isn't a legal requirement, but many tenants opt for it to ensure thoroughness and increase the likelihood of a full bond refund.

Disputes and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

If a dispute arises about the cleanliness of the property or bond refund, and you can't resolve it with your landlord or agent, you have the right to apply to VCAT. They will assess whether the property was left reasonably clean, considering the initial condition report and evidence of fair wear and tear.

Your Rights During the Final Inspection

You have the right to be present during the final inspection. This allows you to address any concerns immediately and potentially avoid disputes. If the agent or landlord raises issues about cleanliness, you have the right to rectify them within a reasonable timeframe before they claim any of your bond.

Bond Refund Process

In Victoria, either you or your landlord/agent can initiate the bond refund process through the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA). If you apply first and the landlord doesn't contest within 14 days, your full bond should be returned. However, if there are cleaning issues, the landlord may claim part or all of your bond.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

To protect your rights:

  • Regularly clean throughout your tenancy
  • Report any damage promptly
  • Seek permission before making any alterations
  • Schedule your vacate clean well before your final day

Landlord's Responsibilities

Landlords also have responsibilities. They must:

  • Provide the property in a reasonably clean condition at the start of the tenancy
  • Not make unreasonable cleaning demands
  • Account for the age and condition of items when assessing cleanliness


Navigating the legalities of bond cleaning in Melbourne requires understanding your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. By leaving the property in a reasonably clean condition, accounting for fair wear and tear, and knowing the proper procedures, you stand the best chance of a smooth move-out process and a full bond refund. Remember, when in doubt, refer to your tenancy agreement, consult with tenants' unions, or seek legal advice. Your diligence in bond cleaning isn't just about getting your money back—it's about fulfilling your legal obligations and maintaining your reputation as a responsible tenant.

Bond Cleaning Sydney is a top-rated bond cleaning company in Sydney. We offer tailored cleaning services for your homes, apartments and offices.