Duties of the bailor
The bailor owes the following duties to bailee in respect of the goods bailed out by him.
1. Duty to disclose faults
In case of gratuitous bailment, the bailor is expected to disclose to the bailee all the defects known to him and which would get in the way with the use of goods bailed. A non-gratuitous bailment or bailment for reward, however, carries a greater responsibility on the part of bailor. He will be liable even if he was not in the know of the defects. The following instances drive home the points.
A lends his horse, which he knows to be frisky, to B. He does not disclose the fact that the horse is frisky. When B tries to ride it, the horse throws him off its back, and B is injured. A is responsible to B for injury sustained.
A hires a carriage of B, The carriage is unsafe, though B is not aware of it, and A is injured. B is still responsible to A for the injury.
2. Duty to repay bailee’s expenses
A bailor is duty bound to repay to the bailee expenses incurred by him for work done on the goods received under conditions of bailment, and for which he is not receiving any remuneration or deriving any benefit. In this regard,
3. Duty to indemnify the bailee
The bailor is bound to make good the loss suffered by the bailee that is in excess of the benefit actually derived, where he had delivered the goods gratuitously and compelled the bailee to return them before the expiry of the period of bailment.
4. Duty to compensate bailee for breach of warranty
Every contract of bailment warrants the bailee about the bailor’s title being defect free. Thus, if bailee subsequently suffers any loss by the reason of the bailor’s title being defective, it is the duty of the bailor to compensate the bailee for breach of warranty.
5. Duty to claim back the goods
The bailor is bound to accept the goods upon being returned by the bailee in accordance with the terms of bailment. If he refuses or fails to accept back the goods, if offered at a proper time and at a proper place, without any reasonable ground, he shall be responsible for any loss or damage to the goods and not the bailee.
Moreover, the bailee, in such a case, can also claim from the bailor all necessary and incidental expenses that he might have incurred to keep and protect the goods.
Rights of the Bailor
A bailor has the following rights.
1. Right to enforce bailee’s performance
Since the bailor delivers goods to the bailee for some specific purpose, the former, especially in case of non-gratuitous bailment, has an elemental right to achieve that purpose or obtain the benefit (i.e., performance) through the latter.
For example, if X delivers a suit length to Y, his tailor, to stitch a suit for him, X (bailor) will see that the tailor does the needful in the desired manner.
3. Right to claim damages
In all cases of bailment, the bailor has the right to claim for damages against the loss, if any, caused to the goods bailed due to the bailee’s negligence or misconduct.
4. Right to claim compensation against unauthorized use of goods
A good example for this is this situation, A lets B use his car but with a condition that only B shall drive. B allows C, a member of his family, to drive the car. C rides with care, but the car meets with some accident. Now B is liable to compensate for the damages caused.
5. Right to demand return of goods along with accretion to, if any
The bailor enjoys the exclusive right to have the goods bailed delivered back to him in safe and sound condition after the time of bailment has expired or the purpose behind the bailment has been achieved. Moreover, in the absence of any contrary term in the contract, the bailor is also entitled to any accretion to the goods bailed if it occurred while the goods were in the study of bailee.
For example, A leaves his hen in the custody of B to be taken care of for a week. The hen has laid eggs and thereby hatched the chicks. A is entitled not only to the hen but also to the chicks.
In addition to the above mentioned right, A bailor has Right to terminate the contract under certain conditions too.