What is bailment?
In common law, bailment is used to describe a process in which the physical possession of an asset or other type of property is transferred from one person to another. In general, this type of transaction involves the bailor (the owner of the asset) and the bailer (the person for whom the property is delivered).
The owner of the asset
Bailment happens when the property owner chooses to temporarily place his/her property in the possession or control of another individual. The delivery of the asset entails that the bailee is asked to function as a caretaker of the property for a specified period of time. In order for a bailment to be created, a legal relationship between the bailor and the bailee must be established.
A bailment can arise in a number of situations and can be classified in any of the following distinctions:
Voluntary and voluntary
In voluntary bailment, the bailee accepts the responsibility for the possession of the property. While in involuntary bailment, the bailee possesses the property by mistake or accident, such as finding a lost car key.
Consideration and gratuitous
In a bailment under the contract of “consideration,” the bailee accepts the responsibility to take charge of the property in exchange of a payment. While in gratuitous bailment, the bailee agrees to take good care of the property without any condition.
Fixed term and indefinite term
Fixed-term bailment means that the bailor leaves his or her property to the bailee for a specified period of time. If there is no agreed clear term for the bailment, the transaction is considered a bailment in indefinite term. It must be noted that if the bailor leaves his property to the bailee in a fixed term and fails to take it back at the end of the term, the property may be deemed to have been abandoned or may be converted to an involuntary bailment.