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Who is responsible for maintenance in a rented home?

When you rent a home, you are expected to maintain some things yourself. By law, you must keep the property reasonably clean, unless your lease specifies that this is the responsibility of the landlord.

In general, where safe to do so, you should also take care of small tasks such as changing a standard light bulb or general garden maintenance. If you genuinely cannot, you may have to ask for help from family or friends. Some local councils may provide this service to the elderly and people with a disability.

When you move out, you should leave the premises, including light globes and smoke alarm batteries, in a similar state to when you moved in.

For other maintenance issues, the law does not specify who is responsible, so we cannot give specific advice. If you and the landlord cannot agree on who is responsible for a particular maintenance issues, either of you can apply for a ruling from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

As Victoria's consumer affairs regulator, we help landlords, agents and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities.

Tenants and Landlords