In the day to day life, we enter into several bailment contracts whether knowingly or unknowingly. For a law student, it is essential to distinguish between normal contracts and contracts of bailment. Understanding bailment and knowing the duties that we unknowingly entre upon would save us from a lot of difficulties.
Types of bailment
Bailment can be categorised in various ways. Bailment can be divided into two broad types gratuitous bailment, non-gratuitous/ for hire. Furthermore, bailment can be classified according to the benefit that the parties receive by the bailment.
In this classification, bailment can be divided into the following three types:
(1) Where a bailment is beneficial for both the bailor and the bailee;
(2) Where the bailment is beneficial solely for the bailor; and
(3) Where the bailment is beneficial solely for the bailee.
On the basis of different types of bailment contracts and examples, bailment can be classified in the following: Storage of Goods, Warehouse Storage, Parking Lots, Bailment for Repair or Service, Security of goods etc.
In this article we will go through some types of bailment that we entre into in our day to day life:
Handing over the keys
In our day to day activity, we often pass on the keys of several items to the different people. For example, we may pass on the keys of the locker to any neighbour thus inducing the contract of bailment between the parties making one the bailor and the other the bailee.
Even while handing over the keys of a bicycle or the bike for riding would also induce the relationship of bailment.
Parking lots can be both paid and unpaid. If the parking lots are unpaid then it will be a gratuitous bailment for the bailor. There the owner becomes the bailor and the owner of the parking lot becomes the bailee. However, if the parking lot service is paid then it becomes mutually beneficial bailment for the parties.
The bailor gives consideration in monetary terms which makes the bailee liable to protect the object of bailment.
Repair or Service
Bailment for repair services can extend to a plethora of goods from automobiles to machines. All the goods which are subject to regular wear and tear are subject to bailment on behalf of the bailor for repairing.
For example, we give our bicycles for repair, clocks for repairing, jewellery for shining purposes etc. In addition to that, we give our computers, chimneys, ovens etc for servicing. While the good is with the bailee all the duties of the bailee are to be applicable.
Lending items for use
The nature of the bailment where it is beneficial for only the bailee is also of the nature of gratuitous bailment. In this case, the bailment is beneficial to the bailee.
For example, when a friend lends another friend a bike to be used for some time or a girl lends another girl her jewellery to be worn for some time.
Keeping of shoes
In temples and gurudwaras there are often established rooms for keeping of the shoes before entering the premises. Most of such rooms provide services free of cost. Such services are meant for allowing the safekeeping of the shoes of the people who have come to visit the temple.
This is a case where the bailment is beneficial solely to the bailor because the bailee does not receive anything in return of the goods bailed or for keeping the safe custody of the goods.
Warehousing facilities are included for agricultural products for the using in offseason. The farmers store the food-grains in the warehouses. These stored food-grains can be used later at the time when the grains cannot be grown.
The warehousing facility is beneficial solely for the bailor because the bailor gets more benefit from the system of warehousing than anyone else.
7. Locker system
We often use a locker to store our precious jewellery and goods for safety purposes. the owner of the goods become the bailor while the bank becomes the bailee. All the obligations of the bailor and the bailee are induced by this relationship.
Storage of goods
There are several relationships that arise out of goods been given for storage by the bailor to the bailee. For example, the goods stored for safekeeping in the house of some friend etc.
Sometimes people do not have enough space their homes store the goods, therefore, they store it in some other place. This induces the relationship of the bailor and a bailee.