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A deposit is a security deposit , with the very different legal institutions can be meant, in particular the rent deposit , the order of a lien or the locations of a guarantor if the creditor carrying out future recourse or other claims uncertain appears.

civil right

The deposit often serves to protect creditors , because the creditor will have to provide contractual services in the future, but cannot be sure whether his contractual partner will provide the consideration .


In civil law , for example, a deposit is colloquially referred to as the rental security that the landlord can fall back on if the tenant fails to meet his rent or compensation obligations under Section 551 (1) BGB . The tenant can make claims for repayment of the rent deposit at the earliest after the apartment has been handed over to the landlord, as a rule after the expiry of the accounting period of six months to be granted to the landlord.

In the past, the German civil service law also knew the provision of bail. Officials who were to be entrusted with accounting or the transport of assets had to provide a security before inauguration, from which the tax authorities could quickly compensate for any shortfalls in cash (still today Art. 90 EGBGB ).


Under Swiss law, the payment of a deposit is provided for in Art. 330 of the Code of Obligations for the employment relationship . In the event of proper, so from the other assets of the employer separate storage of deposit owned by the employees in the bankruptcy of the employer a right of separation . If, on the other hand, the deposit can no longer be specified, there is only a privileged bankruptcy claim under Article 219 paragraph 4 first class DEBA .


In Austria , in accordance with Section 16b of the Tenancy Law, the transfer of a deposit to the landlord can be agreed for the landlord's future claims against the tenant arising from the tenancy agreement.

Criminal law


With the term deposit and the "reasonable assurance" within the meaning of is § 116 para. 1 no. 4 Code of Criminal Procedure refers to the one for absconding adopted arrest warrant may be suspended. This allows the accused to escape pre- trial detention . § 116a Code of Criminal Procedure provides that the security provided by the deposit of cash , in securities by a pledge or by guarantee is to make appropriate people. The guarantee expressly mentioned in the law, however, presupposes a civil law debt ( accessory ) in accordance with Section 765 of the German Civil Code ( BGB ), which is missing, however. Therefore, it is not a guarantee, but a conditional absolute promise to pay made by a third party to the state , which obliges the state to pay the judicial coffers if the exemption from detention is revoked according to Section 116 (4) StPO. A bank guarantee for this is not customary. If the defendant shows up for the trial, the bail is returned to the defendant. Often, additional conditions are part of the deposit agreement (e.g. mandatory registration , travel ban).


A bail or bond is a possible milder means of avoiding pre-trial detention. It is only possible if the reason for detention is that there is a risk of flight and the offense is not more severe than a five-year prison sentence.

The highest deposit ever paid was more than 100 million euros.

United States

In the legal system of the United States the position of deposits is ( English bail ) in order to release the accused to trial usual. Since most of the accused can not afford even the deposit, in the United States, the profession of deposit agent is ( English bail bondsman, bail bond agent ) emerged (see Deposit System (United States) ).


The word deposit comes from the Latin word for "security", "caution" ( Latin cautio ). The word “caucion” first appeared in Germany in 1511 in connection with criminal proceedings. The Constitutio Criminalis Carolina mentioned the "caution" in 1532 as security for an unjustified conviction of the perpetrator.

Web links

Wiktionary: deposit  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. OLG Düsseldorf, judgment of June 12, 2001, Az .: 24 U 168/00 = ZMR 2002, 37
  2. OFK-Pellascio OR 330 N 9
  3. Alexander Retemeyer, Security by bank guarantee , 1995, p. 88 f.
  4. Renate Graber: Julius Meinl gets his deposit back. In: The Standard. June 21, 2016, accessed July 24, 2019 .
  5. Gerhard Köbler , Etymological Legal Dictionary , 1995, p. 217
  6. ^ Friedrich Küch, Sources on the legal history of the city of Marburg , Volume II, 1931, p. 430
  7. Günther Dickel / Heino Speer (arr.), German Legal Dictionary , Volume VII, 1974–1983, Col. 674 f.