Duties of Bailor and Bailee

Duties of Bailor

The following are some of the duties of bailor.

Duties of Bailor and Bailee
Duties of Bailor and Bailee

1. To Disclose Faults in the Goods Bailed

As per Sec. 150 of the Act, the bailor is bound to disclose to the bailee the known defects in the goods bailed. If he fails to do so, he is liable for damages arising to the bailee from such defects.

Example: A lent his horse to his friend B. A knew that the horse was mischievous. But did not disclose this fault to B. When B was riding on the horse, it suddenly ran away and B was thrown and injured. Here A is liable to B for the damages sustained by B.

2. To bear Extra-Ordinary Expenses

The ordinary and reasonable expenses are to be borne by the bailee. However, it is the duty of the bailor to bear the extraordinary expenses made by the bailee for the purpose of bailment.

Example: A lends his scooter to B, a friend for one week. The usual and ordinary expenses like the expenses for petrol and minor repairs etc., are to be borne by B himself. However, if any major defect occurs like defect in the engine etc. A will have to repay B the repair charges incurred by B.

3. To Indemnify Bailee

If the title of the bailor to the goods is defective and as a consequence the bailee suffers, it is the bailor’s duty to indemnify i.e., compensate the bailee for the loss suffered by him.

Example: A found a diamond ring and delivered it to B for safe custody. Subsequently C, the true owner, came to know that his ring is in B’s custody. C filed a suit against B and recovered the ring and compensation from him. Here A is bound to make good the loss suffered by B, the bailee.

4. To Receive Back the Goods

It is the duty of the bailor to receive the goods back when they are returned by the bailee on the expiry of the term of bailment or on the fulfillment of the purpose of the bailment. If the bailor refuses to receive the goods back, then he becomes responsible to pay the compensation for the necessary expenses of custody to the bailee.

Example: A delivered a car to B a mechanic for repair to be over by one week. But A didn’t take back the car for one month. Here B can claim the necessary expenses incurred by him for safe custody of the car.

Duties of Bailee

The following are some of the duties of Bailee.

1. To Take Reasonable Care of the Goods Bailed

It is the duty of the bailee to take reasonable care of the goods bailed to him. He must take as much care as an ordinary sensible man would take, under the similar circumstances, in respect of his own goods of the same type. If he has taken the required degree of care, then he is not liable for any loss or destruction of the goods bailed. However, if the bailee is negligent in taking care of the goods bailed, then he is liable to pay damages for loss or destruction of the goods.

2. Not to make Any Unauthorized Use of Goods

The bailee should use the goods bailed to him strictly in accordance with the conditions of the contract of bailment. If he unauthorisely uses the goods bailed to him, the contract of bailment becomes voidable at the option of the bailor. Further, the bailee is also liable to the bailor for any loss or damage caused to the goods on account of such unauthorized use of the goods, even though he is not guilty of negligence, and even if the damage is the result of an accident.

3. Not to Mix the Goods Bailed with his Own Goods

The bailee must keep the goods bailed separate from his own goods. He should not mix them with his own goods.

4. Not to Set up an Adverse Title

The bailee holds the goods on behalf of and for the bailor. So he has to return them to him. He cannot deny the right of the bailor as to the ownership of the goods. However, if it is proved that the goods belonged to a person other than the bailor by a competent authority, he may return the goods to such a person.

5. To Return the Goods

The bailee should return the goods bailed to the bailor on the expiry of the period or/on the fulfillment of the object for which the goods were bailed. The goods must be returned or disposed of according to the directions of the bailor. If he fails to do so, he is responsible to the bailor for the loss, even if it arises without his negligence.

6. To Return any Accretion to the Goods

In the absence of any contract to the contrary, the bailee is bound to the bailor, or according to his direction, any increase or profit, which may have accrued from the goods, bailed.

Example: A leaves a cow in the custody of B to be taken care of. The cow has a calf. B is bound to deliver the calf as well as the cow to A.