Bailment Definition

A legal relationship in which one party (bailor) leaves personal property in the possession, and under the temporary control, of another (bailee). Common examples include leaving a car in a parking garage, lodging a pet at a kennel, or storing household goods in a storage center. While most bailments are considered "bailments for hire" (in which the bailee is paid), there is also "constructive bailment" when the circumstances create an obligation upon the bailee to protect the goods, and "gratuitous bailment" in which there is no payment, but the bailee is still responsible, such as when a finder of a lost diamond ring places it with a custodian pending finding the owner.