What to do now that I've broken furniture in a subleased apartment
January 18, 2013 2:10 AM Subscribe
Broke a piece of furniture while subleasing. Moved out. Owner is coming back. What to do? I feel bad, but she doesn't even want the furniture.
posted by AppleTurnover to Human Relations (26 answers total)
Sorry this is (unnecessarily) long:
I had to move to a major city short term, so I found someone on craigslist looking for a subletter. It was a pretty sweet deal - I just took over all the payments and she left all her (nearly new) stuff in my apartment for me to use. She was so ansty to get out and move to her home city that she said she'd get everything after the lease ended. The thing is I've moved out already and I broke a drawer attached to her bed frame. The bed frame has these little nightstand drawers attached that stick out on the sides and I broke one of them. I put something too heavy on it and it just kind of collapsed under the weight and the wood cracked and now the drawer sags.
I moved out weeks ago and now she is coming back to the place to get her stuff. I never said anything to her about it before I moved out because I guess I didn't feel like dealing with it. I thought I should tell her and offer to pay but everyone I asked said I could tell her it was an accident but not offer to pay or replace it. She has a new apartment in a new city and doesn't want the bed -- all she's going to do is try to sell all her stuff (bed, TV, couch, table) on craigslist anyway. I wanted to figure out the value of it to determine what would be a fair amount to offer her, but I couldn't find any identifying info about the frame -- it could be something cheap she assembled, or it could be nice. (I honestly can't tell... it's not a luxury frame, but I've bought and assembled worse stuff. If I had to guess, I'd say Target, maybe?) Looked online, could not find a match at my best guess stores. I could offer to send her a check for $100 and leave it at that. I already tried to see if I could fix it, but I couldn't without lifting the whole bed or taking it apart somehow (both not possible).
Now she's going to get back to the apartment and find it today. What should I do? We met through craigslist. She doesn't know where I live now. She has my cell phone number and email. I don't want to be a dick. People tell me it's unreasonable if she expects me to pay for it because that's what happens when people live in an apartment and use the furniture, but I'd probably be mad if someone did that to me and didn't offer to rectify the situation somehow. I just don't want to open myself up to any unreasonable demands. She's been a bit difficult to deal with... wanting me to help sell her TV while I was still living in the apartment... acting surprised that I was moving out in December as we agreed while her lease ended in January... and then thinking it was my problem that she would need to pay for a few weeks the apartment sat empty... bugging me about paying bills, as if I wouldn't pay them... so my experience with her makes me worry I'll offer an inch on the broken bed and she'll demand a yard.
What should I do?