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Pet references - should landlords or tenants pay?

A pet referencing service is courting controversy by suggesting more animals should be allowed in rental properties - and that landlords, not tenants, should pay for references. 

PetsScore is launching in August and says its service will be the first in the world for dogs and cats; it aims to attract landlords and agents in the short lets and longer term rental sectors. 

“When it launches it will allow Pet Owners to register their pets for free, list all the information a landlord needs and then gather online references about that pet” says the firm.


“Once a pet owner has references saved, PetsScore uses that data to create a ‘risk score’ for the pet which,like human tenant referencing, it will supply to the Lettings industry” it continues.

However PetScore says landlords and agents - rather than tenants - will have to pay “as little as £1.50” to buy access to the reference.

A page on the service’s website shows that a single one-off access to one reference would be £10. If landlords bought a subscription they could then obtain ‘bundle’ charges for multiple reference checks. For example, a bundle of 10 would cost £15 while a bundle of 300 checks would cost £300.

Founder Natasha Homer-Earley says: “I founded PetScore after spending almost  six months trying to find somewhere to rent with my dog Daisy. I’d been a landlord previously, seen my family manage their Property portfolio but I was really unaware of how tough it is for Pet Renters.


“I have a 20 year background in Tech Startups and Fintech. So, I knew in order to create something letting agents and landlords would trust, it would need to deliver a level of verification typically found in Financial Services.

“I designed the PetsScore service with the help of UK Letting Agents. PetsScore’s mission is to significantly move the dial on the percentage of rentals accepting Pets worldwide,. This is why from launch a PetsScore can be shared with Letting Agents, Landlords or sharing economy hosts wordlwide.”

The company says it soon wants to sell insurance to pet-owning tenants too.

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    Even Dr Doolittle couldn’t predict how a pet will be! He might be able to ask them if they are unwell and won’t be able to get outside for the toilet and thus cover the floor in anticipation I suppose, but we don’t have that ability, so please tell me what happens when the ‘prediction’ is wrong? Do you then have the opportunity to ask them to leave? Utter utter nonsense. Anyone that thinks you are going to be able to ‘reference’ an animal (excuse me while I have a quiet word with your cat to ask if they might have a change of character in a few years) is off their trolly! And having to pay for the pleasure?! Well, now I really HAVE heard it all. Jeez. (Actually, I’m not stupid enough to think I have heard it all, it’s just a matter of time before the next crazy comes along).

    Theodor Cable

    Nice....... :-)


    Woof woof,too right


    Well said Genevieve. Are we living in an alternative Universe that actually believes pets can be referenced? Perhaps the references can be signed with a pawprint!

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    Who is the tenant supposed to approach for a reference for their pet? Could be their friends or parents for all the service knows.
    You can't predict that a dog left at home for a good part of the day, won't chew furniture or soil the flooring or whine incessantly.
    What if the pet owner is a first time renter?
    I lived next door to a couple who had a large dog and ended up with 4, plus a litter which got sold. She used to let them poo and wee on my courtyard until I had words with her and filmed the dogs then sent the evidence to her landlord with a note saying that court action would follow if it happened again.

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    Why should landlords pay ?


    Tenants ALWAYS pay, like consumers always pay as market forces always prevail.

    Anything that no one can afford disappears from the market. Sound familiar?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Oh Andrew, I do agree with you, but I couldn't for a little while until I stopped laughing at, " should a Landlord pay for a Tenants pet reference ! "
    My stomach still hurts lol.

  • Theodor Cable

    Indeed Andrew, it is the responsibility of the tenant all along.

  • Matthew Payne

    Its not possible to reference pets, sorry Natasha. Too many unknowns and variables on both the animal and the owner, just like you cant reference a cow or a chicken, I dont see why cats and dogs seem to have this measurable element that others do not.

    I dont believe its an insurable risk either. Everything can be insured of course for a price, even David Beckhams legs, but the premiums would be too high to make it a viable option. An insurer might roll the dice and see what happens, but as soon as the claims start rolling in, one of 3 things will happen. The insurer will withdraw from the market or ramp up premiums, or they wont pay out, in which case landlords wont be interested in this as a strategy. Cant beat a good old fashioned 8 or 10 weeks security deposit.


    Since do gooders started to interfere with landlords and tenants reaching mutually beneficial agreement, including higher deposits, landlords have got to play safe and ban pets in flats.

    Another example of unintended consequences!

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    • 07 July 2021 10:02 AM

    Referencing for pets...that's some next level stupidity. Tidepod eating generation ...what a great time to be alive!

    And it looks like the "referencing" company is already biased. Deluded entitled Dr Doolittle wants landlord to pay.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    How many pet owners looking for a place to rent, have a fully satisfactory Unlimited Guarantor, - exactly.

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    I can give a pet reference and a very bad one at that.
    Last 2 months wasted fixing & replacing all my cost.
    Every Insurance Company is the best in the World until you have a claim to make.
    Don’t accept pets then you don’t need Insurance or put the damage right.

  • George Dawes

    Ok mr dog what do you think of the flat so far ?


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    Even the most wonderful pets can have fleas, unfortunately. Only discovered months after dog moved out when flea eggs hatched and started biting the new tenants.

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    So when we kick the tenant out cos Fido's chewed the kitchen to shreds can we add a reference to their platform telling other landlords not to touch with a barge pole? I doubt it.

    How are they meant to provide references do they just ring their toys round and say if they think I'm a bad pet they'll tell you - oh, they've said nowt so I must be a good pet then! Smiling with halo around its head!

    As I'm not allowing pets I won't need to pay for a reference. End of.

  • Kathryn Everson

    When will they get it, it is not the pets that are the issue but their owners. Having been involved with UK rescues for many years and being a board member of a dog charity, it is the training, care and attitude of the owner that determines if a dog is 'well behaved' (as I believe one MP suggested) This 'referencing' idea, is living on another planet. The most well behaved dog on the planet will cause mess or damage if left for hours on it's own, or never taken out for a walk, or doesn't receive ongoing training, care and attention, as I have found out to my detriment in the past. No vet, Groomer or anyone can offer any guarantees against that. Trouble is, even when we were allowed 6 weeks deposit, this wouldn't come anywhere near the amount needed to recompense when something happens, that the dog owner has allowed to take place, by the most 'well behaved pet'. I am not against pets (dogs) per see, but until the landlord has some form of right to compensation / insurance for damage done, then it has to be a risk hardly worth taking.

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    I will always charge more rent if pets are wanted at £50.00 a month plus extra on top to cover pet damage in my insurance.

    Theodor Cable

    If not more. Lots more.......


    £50 weekly more like. A pet is an animal - can’t be referenced - this stupidity of making pets/animals behave unlike their natural character must stop.
    People who want pets should save & buy own homes to be ruined by their ‘referenced’ pets-not LL’s/others homes.

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    I personally as both renter and landlord separately, would never allow pets nor rent any property that had allowed pets.
    Just like smokers, the smell lingers even after a deep clean and not all landlords engage professionals to deep clean.
    Many landlords (according to what I have heard and read) expect the leaving tenant to clean the property and after they've left, give only a cursory look round. Often fridges are not defrosted, microwaves and ovens not cleaned, bathrooms somewhat grim and skirtings dirty.


    Spot on!
    #NoPetsinmyproperty. End of.

    As LL, I am taking a major risk for looking after the health & safety of human/s in my home for £peanuts in return, putting pet animals in the mix makes me a Zoo owner-not a Residential LL.
    Those tenants who like to live in a zoo should find a zoo, or go to council/shelter/PetScore owner Natasha Homer-Earley‘s home/her pet home etc.

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    most politicians are morons--unemployable in real world eg boris cameron hancock bliar etc

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    Speak easy A B, next they’ll want LL’s to be Licensed to have pets in his Property.

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    There is and has been for several years, a county in the UK who has exacted upwards of £650 for a pet licence in rental properties.
    I can't remember whether it's a one off or an annual levy but it has recently been revoked.
    I read it online.


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