Bailee (Custodian)

Definition - What does Bailee (Custodian) mean?

A bailee is someone who is paid to hold an item of value for a set period of time for another party. Basically, they take personal property into safekeeping for a set amount of time. In most cases, a fee is charged to maintain the service of safekeeping. A bailee usually does not have use of the item being stored. The act of storing the item with the bailee is called bailment. The person that gives the property to the bailee to hold is referred to as the bailor.

Justipedia explains Bailee (Custodian)

There are different levels of bailment. The responsibility of the bailee and bailor are different at the various stages of the bailment process. If the benefit of the bailment is for the bailee alone, then the bailee owes a level of extraordinary care. If the benefit of the bailment is for both parties, then the bailor and bailee are both required to abide by a reasonable level of care. If the bailment is for the benefit of the bailee only, then the bailor is only required to provide a minimum level of care. A reasonable level of care is considered that which any normal person might take in similar circumstances.

An example of a bailment is long-term car parking in a private car lot. In this case, it is the requirement of the bailee to provide security for the car in the form of an alarm and car insurance.

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