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Tenant responsibilities

KetarKetar Come on upstairswe're having a partyRegistered User regular
We just vacated a house that we rented in Hawaii for the past year, to relocate to Chicago. Our cats did some damage to a carpet to the point of needing replacement, which we paid for. Our son managed to snag and tear a curtain with one of his toys, and I replaced that before leaving. Anything along those lines I either took care of before leaving or agreed to pay for repair/replacement.

There is one item though that our landlords are now asking about that doesn't feel like we should be responsible for. When we moved in, our landlords advised us that there was a swinging chair in the garage that we could put up if we wanted to. They'd never used it or hung it up since they only bought the house less than a month before we moved in. I decided to put it up while home one afternoon. Less than 30 seconds after sitting on it both straps at the upper end snapped off entirely, dropping me headfirst on to the floor of the balcony. I weighed 215-220lbs at the time, so not an excessive weight that perhaps should have expected issues. The chair was just flimsy and likely on the old side.

We bought a nice swinging chair of our own to use instead for the remainder of the year, after notifying our landlords of what had happened and storing the old chair in the garage at their request. We opted not to bring it with us given the unlikelihood of being able to use it in a new rental, and when one of our neighbors asked if they could have it at a goodbye party my wife have it to them.

Our landlords are now asking us to either request the return of our newer chair from the neighbors, or buy a replacement chair for them. Is this reasonable? If the old chair had been functional for almost any period of time, I wouldn't have a problem with this. But for something they had never actually tested that broke immediately upon first use and was of unknown age, well, I don't feel like we owe them a new chair.

So, any thoughts or advice about how to respond?


  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You might want to look up relevant laws in your area, but no, probably not. The fact that it was never up and you bought your own indicate that this was not something covered under your lease.

    Do you have the receipt of you buying your own? Does your lease make mention of the chair? Do you have any documentation that you told them it broke to accompany it?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    The lease definitely doesn't mention the chair anywhere. I notified them in person since they would come by the house to maintain the lawn, so unfortunately no documentation of my notification.

  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    Just found the same model of swinging chair on Amazon. They sell for $43. They are supposed to hold up to 250 lbs.

    The easiest thing would be to have amazon ship her a damn chair and not jeopardize the reference since we need to rent for one more year, but I really don't feel like this should be on us and paying for it bothers me to a surprising degree.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Well technically you broke their chair which is presumed to come with the lease/a fixture of the house. Your replacement chair would have been a replacement but you gave it away. So yea i would say it is on you to replace the chair. It's 43 bucks. That is nothing compared to deposit money or a good reference

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    Ethically, yea you shouldn't have to pay. In fact had you been injured when it broke, they probably could have been held liable.

    Realistically though, pay the 43 bucks if you need a good reference.

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    So you broke something of theirs and don't feel like you should have to replace it?

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    if you care about getting a good reference or otherwise maintaining a good relationship, go ahead and cover it for the sake of that.

    otherwise it's 1) something you were authorized to use and 2) it broke in the course of regular use. It isn't your responsibility to replace it.

    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Send them the stupid $43 chair, but have your wife stand behind you making a "slow jerk off" hand gesture while you place the order

    DoctorArchRear Admiral ChocoAiouaKetarDarkewolfeEsseeNobodyAngelinazagdrobMaguanominor incidentGiggles_FunsworthLovelybowenNightDragonTheBlackWind
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    noir_blood wrote: »
    So you broke something of theirs and don't feel like you should have to replace it?

    No, part of the landlord provided fixtures and fittings broke during normal use. It was in fact if anything the Landlord's responsibility to replace it no matter how far into the lease it broke.

    If you bought your own one the landlord has less than no claim to it. Is it worth reminding them that you bought it, not them? They might have simply forgotten that the original one broke.

    If they're insistent, then yeah a few bucks for the chair is probably a better deal than an argument, but they're utter jerks.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    Yeah jam warrior is right.

    The way the chair broke is under reasonable use. A comparable example for renting is if you opened a door in a normal fashion and it fell off its hinges. The owner would have to repair it.

    Saying that. If you need to reference I'd replace it and just feel angry about it in private.

  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    The landlord should go bone themselves. They provided a defective chair which broke, and you left it in the garage for them to later repair per their instructions. Should be the end of the story, as you buying / giving a separate chair to your neighbors shouldn't even enter into the discussion and is none of their concern.

    That said, you've acknowledged you need them or may need them for a reference. Is that reference worth $45? Is the principle of things worth the added difficulty / costs you might face without that reference? Probably not.

    So just buy the damn chair, steam about it for a few minutes, and forget it ever happened. It's better than having to deal with bullshit in a year because your old landlord is telling your new potential landlord that you break things and don't replace them.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Buy the chair, ship it to you then drill holes in it to exactly replace the broken one provided.

    No, don't do that. If $45 is not a major expense for you, buy and ship it to them and be done with it.

    Also welcome back to Chicago!

    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I ordered the chair and bit back all of my imagined responses when emailing our landlord back to let her know. Finding the same chair at that price made it an easy, if still unpalatable, decision.

    Thanks, MichaelLC. Currently arranging viewings in scenic Naperville. Uhh, hooray. Or something. All of these little subdivision and apartment community names sound the same to me, making it surprisingly difficult sometimes to figure out whether we've already been to a unit in a complex that has placed an ad.

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