Requirement to Remove Graffiti from Private Property

So I live in a area that is heritage listed. The house next to me is on a corner and their wall is always covered in graffiti, they do nothing about it.

The previous tenant kept on top of the graffiti and the problem wasn't really that bad. But as the new tenant have done nothing I think the graffiti artists have realised that this wall is great and will never be cleaned, so they have kept adding to it.

I know that issues surrounding graffiti are complex.

Ayway, is there a requirement for them to clean the graffiti from their wall? I guess I can argue that the graffiti colours are not heritage colours :)

Any advice would be great.


  • Two questions:

    1. Why do you care so much, and

    2. If you care so much, why don't you clean it?

    Your post hits two pet peeves of mine, people feeling entitled to stick their noses in stuff that is none of their actual business, and people feeling entitled to have others do things they don't want to do themselves.

    Actual advice: Go ask council - heritage listings are administered/managed by council, and council would also be the ones to issue work orders if relevant in this kind of situation.

    • As I responded below, the graffiti started small and then got bigger and bigger, then started spreading to nearby buildings, its like a cancer. I think once the graffiti artists realise that it doesn't get cleaned they start spending more time and invest more paint on the works as they know it will stay up for longer.

      Council has said I am not allowed to clean it up.

      Our council, City of Yarra no longer cleans up graffiti on private property

      I also wonder if I went to your neighbours house, covered it in graffiti and they did nothing about it, and Council said you cant clean it up if you would be non plussed about it. Sure, like me, for the first 4 months I didn't care, then it got worse and worse and worse, then it started spreading. Yep entitled is what I am.

      • Why are you not going after the graffiti vandals? I assure you, graffiti does not spread by itself like a cancer.

      • Our council, City of Yarra no longer cleans up graffiti on private property

        Good on them for not wasting rates on private clean-ups.

    • Why do you care so much…

      Because graffiti gives the wrong doers a sense of control.

      A sense of control is the whisper that that preceeds the roar of dissent. After all, conception is but seed and egg.

      Just as malignant hushed voices mutate into an unholy choir of taunts, unrest turns to protest, and protest into revolution.

      "Viva la revolution", they will chant and with every chant, suspicion and discord will grow as the people go hungry. Commerce and agriculture do not fare well in turmoil. "Viva la revolution", the chants become ever weaker. Anarchy all the while silently gestating.

      Is this what you want?

      If you care so much, why don't you clean it?

      It's hot outside.

  • Cleaning graffiti off of an external wall is NOT the responsibility of a tenant (unless, of course, they put it there).

    If you really care, contact your local council and ask them about it. They may send someone out to clean it, or may advise that it's the landlord's responsibility (or, as noted above, just clean it yourself — although I'd advise against perform 'work' on someone else's premises/common property).

  • I have called council, it's up to the land lord to clean it up and they are not cleaning it up. First it started small, then it got bigger, the more time that passes and it is not cleaned the more graffiti and bigger the pieces seem to be getting, it then started spreading to nearby buildings, it's almost like a cancer

  • Maybe you could spray "do not grafitti this wall" on it.
    That'll fix it.

  • Paint up or shut up

  • It is vandal damage. Landlord's responsibility. If you can get a photo of the vandals doing it give it to the police.
    If it bothers you that much the LL may give you the paint etc to cover it up when you want to.
    It is a nuisance but things could be worse… Such is life today where no one respects anyone or their property……

  • Maybe it's heritage listed graffiti and they're not allowed to remove it. Does it look like it might have been written by Captain Cook?

    • City of Yarra covers of Richmond, Collingwood, Fitzroy. Graffiti is almost compulsory and don't be surprised if some of it is heritage listed by now.

  • The previous tenent kept on top of the graffiti

    To be honest if it kept coming back I would soon get over it and admit defeat. I certainly would't keep cleaning it over and over.

    • broken windows theory

      • Bloody Steve Jobs.

      • I mean, if it keeps coming back over and over again, obviously unbroken windows weren't helping to begin with.

      • Except in this case if graffiti artists are putting a lot of work and effort in, they're not going to take kindly to having other people harsh their buzz, Marge. So it may be a good thing to have free night watchers out there…

  • meh.. if you chose to ignore it it wont be a problem..

    i like urban art so cant really give you any advice you might find useful.. but some things to consider..

    if the owner was to buff the graf all the time it going to be costing him in labor and materials (and sometimes look alot uglier half patched). unless you are footing the labor or material costs, probably better to vent online rather than doing something productive with your time….

    or if the removal method is via an abrasive/corrosive type there may be damage to heritage listed building (surface or structure depending if its plaster/brick work etc).

    i work in a nightclub.. and know when i buff some damage it comes back even worse.. so easiest thing is to draw dick and ball graphics over the tags (that tends to prevent further work by that 'artist')…

  • Depends if it's good graffiti with artistic value. If it's crap then you can just clean it yourself (or paint over it, or paint dicks on it like someone else suggested) at night the same way they put it on, like an anti-graffiti artist vigilante.