Section 2 Tenancy Agreements
Sub-Section 2.2 Co-signers & Guarantors


s. 12, 28.1-28.15, The Residential Tenancies Act


Co-signer: a person who signs a tenancy agreement along with the tenant and agrees to be responsible for the obligations of the tenant. For example: the obligation to pay rent and to pay for damages, etc.

Guarantor: a person who signs an agreement stating that they will guarantee that a tenant will meet specific obligations set out in the guarantee itself. For example: the obligation to pay rent and to pay for damages, etc.

Tenancy agreement: a contract between a landlord and a tenant that sets out the basic rules for living in a rental unit. It can be written, oral or implied.


A landlord may ask a prospective tenant to have a co-signer or guarantor.

A landlord may want a co-signer or guarantor if a tenant doesn’t:

  • have adequate references; For example: If a person has never been a tenant before, they won’t have a rental history; or
  • have enough regular income to afford the rent.


A landlord has the right to ask a co-signer or guarantor to complete a tenancy application. This gives the landlord information to help decide if a co-signer or guarantor has the ability to pay for the rent or damages. A landlord should get a co-signer’s or guarantor’s written consent before confirming this information.


A landlord must give:

  • a copy of the tenancy agreement to a co-signer; or
  • a copy of any separate agreement or guarantee to a guarantor.


A co-signer agreement ends when the fixed-term tenancy agreement ends. A co-signer can’t cancel their responsibility before the end of the agreement.


A landlord may ask for a co-signer on a tenancy agreement renewal if it was required for the previous agreement. For example: If a student doesn’t always earn enough money to cover the rent, the landlord can ask for a co-signer.


A guarantee, because it’s separate from the tenancy agreement, must identify the tenancy agreement. The form must include the names of the landlord and tenant, the address of the rental unit and the date the tenancy begins.


The guarantee should state either the maximum amount that the guarantor might be responsible for or that the guarantor’s liability is unlimited. If the guarantee is for rent only, it should also show that the guarantor is responsible for rent arrears based on the present rent and on future rent increases as allowed by Part 9 of the Act.


A guarantee ends when a fixed term tenancy agreement ends, unless the guarantee specifically says that the obligations of the guarantor continue with any tenancy agreement renewals.


A guarantor is bound by the terms of the guarantee, as long as the terms are reasonable.

When making a claim for compensation against a guarantor, a landlord must show what they did to keep their loss to a minimum.

If the tenancy agreement says that the tenant must have a guarantor, and the previous guarantor withdraws as allowed under their agreement, the landlord may ask the tenant in writing to find another suitable guarantor. If the tenant can’t do this, then the landlord may give the tenant notice of one rental payment period for a breach of a material term of the tenancy agreement. If a landlord and tenant can’t agree on whether it’s reasonable to ask for a guarantor, the Branch will help them try to reach an agreement. If the landlord and tenant can’t agree, the Branch will make a decision about whether it’s reasonable for the tenant to have a guarantor.


When a landlord has a claim for compensation against a tenant and their co-signer or guarantor, they should name both on the claim form. The landlord must try to give everyone named on the claim a copy of it. There can be a hearing if the landlord serves only one person, either the tenant, guarantor or co-signer, with a notice of the hearing. However, if the landlord wants to be able to have an Order for the payment of compensation that they can enforce against the tenant(s) and co-signer or guarantor, they should serve each of the tenant(s) and co-signer or guarantor and have only one hearing.

If the landlord does not serve all the involved parties for a hearing, the landlord may not be able to have another hearing in the future for the same claim. To have another hearing, the landlord would have to show why they could not serve the other involved party with the original claim for compensation.

If a landlord is having difficulty serving a tenant or co-signer or guarantor with a claim, they can ask the Branch for substitutional service or they can reschedule the hearing to allow more time for service.

When the Branch issues an Order, they send a copy to everyone named on the form. However, the landlord can only enforce the Order against the people they actually served with the notice of the hearing.



This policy is included as information for landlords, tenants, guarantors, co-signers and officers. If tenants, co-signers, guarantors and landlords aren’t able to solve a problem with a tenancy agreement or guarantee on their own, they can ask the Branch for help.

Steps ▼

1.The officer encourages the landlord, tenant and co-signer or guarantor to share information, and to discuss the problem, to try to come to some agreement.

2.When a landlord, tenant, guarantor or co-signer asks the Branch for help with a problem, the appropriate officer follows the procedures for:

Forms & Form Letters

Standard Residential Tenancy Agreement
...............................................................Form 1/Residential Tenancies Regulation

Renewal of Tenancy Agreement.
...............................................................Form 4/Residential Tenancies Regulation


For procedures on Mediation, see Section 1.
For details on Tenancy Applications, see Section 1.
For more information on Claims, see Section 9.

Policy Developed

September, 1992*

Last Revision

May, 2015

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