Yes, but unfortunately we have to add 40% to the cost because we have to pay the bill from our company debit card and charge it back to the landlord as a "Service" which incurs tax and VAT.

This is because, unfortunately, we cannot use client funds in any other way but via BACS payments. This is to stop agents spending client money on things that they shouldn't. This is not normally a problem because we can pay contractors via BACS. However, large organisations such as utility companies and councils do not accept BACS payments because they need to have a specific reference included with the payment (such as the account number). BACS payments work where a total figure is deposited into the 3rd party's account and then the 3rd party is sent a statement detailing which invoices the payment covers (usually there will be more than 1 invoice being paid at the same time).

For instance, when we pay the plumber, we might pay him £1000 in a BACS payment. Then we would send him a statement to say that the £1000 contains payment for inv 552 at 4 Example Road, inv 567 for Flat 1 Main Road, and Inv 675 for 54 Example Street. Then when our regulators inspect our company accounts each year they take a sample of all invoices paid, BACS statements, and all account transactions and bank statements, to ensure that they are all legitimate. As you can imagine, if we were making one-off payments here and there to different 3rd parties our regulators would not be able to verify that we are spending our clients' money correctly.

Therefore, in order to pay some bills to large organisations for you, we would have to pay it on our company debit card (over the phone) and charge you a fee to recoup the money. The tax man would see this fee as income and charge us company tax on it. The tax man would also expect us to pay 20% VAT on it. That's why we would have to add 40% to any amount we spend on our company debit card on behalf of our clients.

Payments for utility bills and council tax generally only occur once a year or even less frequently, so our clients usually choose to pay these directly to save the extra cost.