a bailee is a person who receives a non-consumable thing for the purpose of using it for a certain period of time and with the obligation of returning it. If there are two or more bailees in a contract, the bailees have solidary liability (Art. 1945)
Obligations of the bailee
(1) Acquire use but not fruits
To acquire the use of the non-consumable thing, but not its fruits, and return it in the same or altered form, or dispose of it after the purpose has been fulfilled.
(2) To take care of the thing
The bailee has the obligation to take care of the thing with ordinary diligence, and this stipulation does not make the contract an onerous one.
(3) Pay for ordinary expenses
Pay for the ordinary expenses for the use and preservation of the thing borrowed. (Art. 1941) For example, if the bailee borrows the car, he must pay for the ordinary expenses such as gasoline expenses, carwash, and change oil. If he incurred expenses for ornamentary purposes, such as placing LED lights, automatically there is no reimbursement.
(4) Must return the thing loaned
Bailee must return the thing loaned even bailor owes him something, except when the bailor knowingly loaned the thing despite knowledge of flaws, resulting to bailee’s injury. Art. 1944 quoting Art. 1951
Bailee must return all the things loaned. He must also return it to the bailor and not to other persons such as the Sheriff. – Quintos vs. Beck
The non-complying party shoulders the expenses of returning
The party who is obliged to shoulder the expenses of returning the property is the non-complying party. For example, the party instead of returning, deposited it with the sheriff. Quintos vs. Beck
(5) Pay for loss due to fortuitous events under 5 instances
Generally, the bailee is not liable for the loss of the thing due to fortuitous event except under the following circumstances:
- He devotes the thing to different purposes from that for which it has been loaned;
- He uses the thing longer than the period stipulated or uses it after the accomplishment of the constituted objective. If under precarium, the bailee is in delay after the bailor has demanded the return of the thing.
- If the thing loaned is delivered with an appraisal of its value, unless there is a stipulation exempting the bailee from responsibility in case of a fortuitous event.
- If the bailee lends the thing to a third person other than members of his household
- If being able to save either the thing loaned or his own, he chose to save the latter. This is an example of an act of ingratitude.
Not obligations of the Bailee
(1) Pay for the deterioration due to ordinary use
Deterioration due to ordinary use and without his fault. (Art. 1943)