DEFINITION of 'Bailee'
An individual who temporarily gains possession, but not ownership, of a good or other property under a bailment. The bailee is entrusted with the possession of the good or property by another individual known as the bailor. This relationship is based on a contractual agreement (a bailment) between the bailor and the bailee, which specifies the terms and purpose of the change in ownership.
BREAKING DOWN 'Bailee'
While the goods are in the bailee's possession, the bailor is still the rightful owner. However, the bailee is responsible for their safekeeping and eventual return. Typically, the bailee is not entitled to use the goods or property. A bailee can serve as the overseer of an investment portfolio for a specified time period, or can be appointed to manage a rental property in the owner's absence. The bailee ensures the assets are kept safe until the owner of those assets is able to resume management.