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?