All posts by davisbrown

Commerical Tenants: A Guide To Renting

Considering becoming a commercial tenant?  Davis Brown – a firm of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in Fitzrovia are here to help you with the process.  We are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors so you can take full advantage of our professional expertise.  Here’s a guide that we at Davis Brown have put together to help you with the process.

Commercial Properties are divided into 4 main areas:

  • Retail – shops, supermarkets, hairdressers etc
  • Offices – self contained office suites, serviced offices, office blocks
  • Industrial – warehouses, industrial units, trade counter units etc
  • Leisure – restaurants, cinemas, public houses etc

These are again sub-divided but your commercial property agent at Davis Brown, Fitzrovia can advise you on the correct User Clause which is suitable for you.

Tenant Considerations:

Once you have found your property of choice-before you contact the commercial agent at Davis Brown or landlord, you’ll need to take the following into consideration:

  • Lease length (this can vary from one landlord to the next)
  • Break Option (do you, or the landlord, require a break option which will allow you to leave the premises before the end of the lease, if so, what is the notice period required)
  • Service Charges (what is covered in the service charge – not all service charge accounts will cover heating or cleaning)
  • Rent Deposit (how much is required)
  • Dilapidations (what are your responsibilities at the end of your lease)
  • Building Maintenance (how often is the building refurbished and what are your contributions)
  • Lease Restrictions (are you able to assign or sublet the lease?)
  • Business Rates (you are liable for your business rates on the date that your lease has completed, check with your local authority to your liability, you may be able to apply for a discount, depending on the size of your company)
  • Additional Charges (ask if there are any additional charges which may not have been advertised – these will normally include your building insurance contribution and possibly a “sinking fund” contribution).

Submitting your Offer:

You must submit all offers in writing.  You’ll need to provide the landlord or commercial agent with your company accounts (usually the last 3 years).  You’ll also need to provide bank details and current landlord details for references (your bank may charge you for this service – £15/£20 per reference).  You’ll also need to supply solicitor details to the landlord/estate agent.  Try to supply as much information as possible to the landlord/estate agent supporting your offer.

Accepted Offer:

Once your offer has been accepted, the landlord or commercial agent will send Heads of Terms out to all relevant parties and their solicitors.  This will give an overview of the lease terms and will allow you a final opportunity to negotiate your terms, before draft contracts are sent.  Once Heads of Terms have been agreed and solicitors instructed, the property will then be put “Under Offer”, taken off the market and no further viewings will take place. Your solicitor will then amended and/or approve the draft contract that has been sent and any amendments will be made between the solicitors – this can take 6 weeks to complete.  During this time, you could visit the premises to take measurements of windows etc for blinds, check the IT/Telecoms supplier (if you have confirmed a “move in date”, you can contact your IT/Telecoms supplier in advance to book an engineer when you move), arrange for quotes for any alarm systems that you wish to install (you’ll need the Landlord’s permission for this) and arrange for floor plans and designs for your required layout.

On Completion:

On completion of the lease you will have to pay any rental deposit, rent and service charge (this will normally be 3 months in advance, depending on the quarter day), insurance contribution and any other charges in advance.  Once the monies have cleared and the lease has been signed by all parties, you can then arrange with the landlord/agent a suitable time to collect the keys to your new premises.  It is also advisable to take meter readings (gas, electric, water) when collecting the keys.  Remember to also inform the local authority that you have taken over the lease in relation to your business rates.

Break Clause:

If your lease has a “break clause” which allows either you or the landlord to terminate the lease before the lease expiry date, make sure you take a note of the date this must be completed by.  A break clause will normally require between 6 to 12 months’ notice, so if your break clause is 24th March 2018 with a notice period of 9 months, you must inform the landlord or their representative before 23rd June 2017).  Notice must be given in writing.

Expiry of your Lease or Exercising your Break Clause:

Around 3 months before your lease expiry, the landlord may wish to start marketing the premises for a new tenant.  The landlord’s representative will visit the premises at a suitable time and take marketing photos and possibly new measurements.  They will need to give you 24hrs notice before any viewings take place and the agent will make sure any disruptions are kept to a minimum.



Around 1 or 2 months before you leave the premises; the landlord will send a representative to visit your premises to undertake a “Schedule of Dilapidations”.  This will provide you with a step by step guide of all works that must be undertaken, making sure that the premises are left in a good condition.

Moving Out:

As when you moved in, the landlord or their agent will visit you to take meter readings and to collect all keys.  You’ll need to inform your suppliers (gas, electric, water, alarm systems, IT/Telecoms) of your “moving out” date and inform the local authority in relation to your business rates.

For more information, please contact Davis Brown – your Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors based in W1 – who will be happy to help you with every step of the way.




Searching for your perfect property with Estate Agents in Fitzrovia

It may sound like a fictional middle-European kingdom, but as you probably know Fitzrovia is an area of London. Taking its name from the old Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street, it became popular with artists and writers, who turned it into something of a creative centre in the 1920s. The name Fitzrovia became widely used between the wars but wasn’t officially recognised until 1994, when it appeared on Ordnance Survey maps for the first time.

So how can estate agents in Fitzrovia help you find your perfect property? The area of Fitzrovia is split between two London boroughs – the City of Westminster and Camden and therefore takes in a big part of London’s commercial centre, bounded as it is by Euston Road, Oxford Street, Gower Street and Great Portland Street. It also includes the iconic BT Tower. This means that it’s a thriving business district with in excess of 50,000 people working there. However, don’t write it off as purely about commerce – it has more than 6,000 residents with new developments springing up all the time.

The area offers a unique blend of old and new, spanning from elegant Georgian town houses, to period mansion blocks and ultra-modern apartments and our Estate Agents in Fitzrovia have the knowledge and experience to help you find that perfect property.

There is a strong lettings market too, making the area a popular choice for property investors and renters alike. It’s easy to understand the area’s appeal: five tube stations make travel to other parts of the city easy, and there is an array of award winning restaurants and coffee specialist cafes – Goodge Street has become the street of the ‘pop-up’ restaurant. If you have a family, you’ll find a good choice of schools and open spaces,

Fitzrovia is an attractive residential area, and being part of the West End which is the largest central business district in the UK, it is popular with many businesses looking for a convenient and prestigious central London location, and their employees who are looking for an easy commute!  Whether you’re looking for a residential property, somewhere to site your business or a property investment, our estate agents in Fitzrovia will be able to advise you on the available options.

At Davis Brown, we have been operating in the area since 1901 and know it well. Whatever type of property you’re looking for, it’s worth talking to our experienced staff to explore the options on offer

Publicised Fees: Know Your Rights

As ARLA registered Estate Agents in W1, earlier this year Davis Brown attended the London ARLA Regional meeting earlier this year to find out some more information about the changes to the Consumer Rights Bill.  The new ruling declared that all agents must display all fees associated with renting a property.  The idea is to eliminate any confusion about the costs involved with letting and renting and avoid any hidden charges springing up.  Davis Brown are estate agents and chartered surveyors based in London, it is vitally important for us to comply with all legislation and make sure that we are providing the best service to clients and applicants alike.  To make things a little easier for you, we have drawn up an overview of the new rules and what it means for you as the consumer.

Where the fees should be displayed:

All estate agents must display a list of fees at all of their premises where the agent is dealing face-to-face with consumers – for example at our office in Fitzrovia; our fees are displayed in reception to ensure they are easily accessible.   Agent’s fees must also be displayed on the company’s website – as estate agents in W1, our website has a downloadable PDF version so that it can be saved and kept for reference.

How the fees should be displayed:

The list of fees must include all possible charges with a clear definition for each.  For example, vague terms such as administration cost cannot be used and must be explained.  As estate agents in Fitzrovia, we believe our administration costs are fair as they cover the administration associated with the tenancy such as undertaking references and preparing the agreement.

All costs must now also be inclusive of VAT to further avoid any ambiguity over the costings involved.  Furthermore, it must be clear whether the fee is charged per tenancy, or per tenant.


Sometimes a fee cannot be reasonably determined in advance, for example inventory charges are based on the size of the property and whether it is furnished or not.  In cases such as these, the list of fees should explain how a final cost will be calculated.

What does this mean for you?

The aim of the legislation is to make it clear to both landlords and tenants what costs are involved in renting / letting out a property.  The hope is that agents will be up-front with their fees and charges, which will make it easier for you, the consumer to make an informed decision about the agency you choose to use.

For more information about renting or letting a property in W1, contact our estate agent’s Emma or Sarah-Jane.  

An Interview with David Moon – A Director of Davis Brown, former Chairman of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club and Party Wall specialist

David Moon has been a Chartered Surveyor in London since 1975 and director at Davis Brown since 1998.  He is a highly regarded member of the Party Wall Surveying community.  He is a former Chairman of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club, chair to the Subterranean Development Bill Advisory Panel to the House of Lords and has worked all over London from St James’ Palace to The Banqueting House.  We interviewed him to find out a little more about his career as a Chartered Surveyor in W1.

You began your career as a Chartered Surveyor in Central London working for the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works; can you tell me what your role was?

‘I first worked at the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works whilst on summer break from Leicester Polytechnic and my first office was at Elizabeth House, Waterloo, where I worked on a former Victorian Workhouse among other projects.  I also spent my sandwich year with the Ministry, and was lucky enough to work on the Royal Palaces, particularly St James’ Palace.  After completing my diploma, I started work full time with the Ministry, and moved between a number of offices.  One of the projects I dealt with as a qualified surveyor was the temporary structures that were built to host the NATO and G7 Summits in The Banqueting House, Whitehall in 1977. For this, I was based in Whitehall and it was unique experience.’

When did you begin to specialise in Party Wall Matters?

‘1974, which funnily enough is also the year that the Pyramus & Thisbe Club was founded.  The job was at Monsanto House where works were taking place in the building next door.  At the time, Party Wall Matters only really applied to the London Boroughs and it was not until the 1996 Act that Party Wall Matters were widened to include the rest of the country.’

What is your proudest career achievement?

‘I would have to say my proudest career achievement was being elected as Chairman of the Pyramus & Thisbe Club, which has over 1,200 members and works to advance and promote best professional practice in all matters Party Wall.  I was also happy to win the Henry Stuart Structural Survey prize for a large survey project in Kent.’

Tell me about your role as chair to the Subterranean Development Bill Advisory Panel to the House of Lords.

‘The Subterranean Development Bill is an initiative to better control and regulate subterranean development such as basements.  The Bill unfortunately did not pass as law when it was first introduced, however there is a possibility that the issue may revive in parliament during the term of the current administration.’

What is the most interesting thing about Party Wall surveying?

‘Acting as a third surveyor! It is always enjoyable to help settle disagreements or disputes – it’s an important part of working in Party Wall surveying.’

What do you think are the top five key skills those looking at a career in Party Wall Surveying to possess?

‘Impartiality, an even temperament, an eye for detail, interpersonal skills and the ability to stay calm at all times!’

For more information about our services in Party Wall matters from our contact our Chartered Surveyors in W1.


Commercial Agents in London help locate Business Premises

London is a thriving city and therefore an attractive location for businesses of many types and sizes. Whether your operation is already located in London or you’re looking to relocate it here, commercial agents in London will form a vital part of your search.

Why London?

You might be wondering why you’d want to have your business in London in the first place. The fact is that as well as being the capital, it’s also at the heart of the UK’s business and financial world. This means easy access to a range of services and other businesses in the same or similar sectors.

Strong transport links to the rest of the UK and Europe mean that London is easily accessible. Add in the features of the city itself and its potential for entertaining and impressing clients, and you can see why so many companies choose to have either their main location or at least a presence in the London area.

A firm of good commercial agents in London will know the city well and be able to advise on the best locations to suit your particular needs.

Buy or Let?

Once you’ve decided on London as a location, you need to think about whether to buy or rent a property. Partly, this will depend on the nature of your business and your plans for the future. If your company is expanding fast, you may not want to tie yourself into buying a property that you’ll quickly outgrow. In these circumstances, finding a commercial property to let is an attractive option, as it’s easier to move on when you need more space.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a degree of permanence, then buying a commercial property may be the right option and in the long run could prove to be more cost-effective. There is, of course, also the potential for investment buys, allowing you to take advantage of the busy London rental market. Even if you’re looking for accommodation for your own business, you may choose to buy a property that’s larger than you need and earn extra income by renting out the surplus space. Experienced commercial agents in London will be able to advise you on the likely earnings potential of any such arrangement.

Davis Brown has many years of experience handling commercial property in London, and our experienced staff are always happy to discuss the requirements of your business.

Soho: A Guide to the Area

Soho is a charming and unique area of London, which has something to offer everyone – from outstanding restaurants to independent art galleries.   As all London estate agents know, Soho is a highly desirable area to live, offering an array of properties, all differing in style and size to accommodate the needs of all its residents.

Where is it?

Situated just South of Oxford Street, the area of Soho covers roughly one square mile and is cornered by Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square underground stations.

Top Five Facts

  1. Great Marlborough Street was named after Marlboro cigarettes as it was originally the site of the Philip Morris factory.
  2. Greek Street was named after a group of Greek Christians who in 1670 fled persecution in the Ottoman Empire for the streets of London.
  3. Although for a short period of his life, Karl Marx lived in Soho on Dean Street.
  4. The term ‘Soho’ was originally a hunting cry, used by King Henry VIII in the mid-1500s.
  5. Soho’s salacious reputation can be dated back to 1719 when the Duke of Wharton apparently opened an establishment where notable people could enjoy less than tasteful acts

Getting about?

Getting around Soho is incredibly easy – walk! Everything is within a five minute walk and as all estate agents in Soho will tell you, the cobbled streets provide a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of neighbouring roads such as Regents Street.

For those travelling out of the area, there are four tube stations on offer at the NE, NW, SW & SE corners of Soho where lines available are the Bakerloo, Victoria, Northern, Piccadilly and Central.

Things to do

Residents of Soho will never be short of things to do.  For foodies there is an extensive selection of restaurants on offer.  Theatre is another key feature of Soho’s identity.  The area has a total of seven theatres to choose from, including the Palace Theatre which was built in 1891 and some of London’s biggest stage productions are in residence here such as ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘A Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night Time’.  Soho is also host to an array of independent and quirky art galleries, check out 79 Beak Street for unusual and unique exhibitions.

When in Soho, it is a must to take a look around the shops – as estate agents in Fitzrovia, Soho is a continuous temptation!  The area is home to the world renowned Liberty store, along with dozens of unique and quirky boutique, specialist shops.  For example, Nudie Jeans Shop on D’Arblay Street not only sells unique denim, but also has an in store repair service.  The famous Mark Powell tailors also has a store in Soho at No.2 Marshall Street where clients are treated to bespoke, made to measure suits.  Berwick Street Market is another of Soho’s famous spots to shop, where London’s oldest market stall, Ronnie’s Flowers still pitches up every Monday to Saturday.

If you are looking for a more chilled out afternoon, take a blanket and picnic to Soho Square and sit back and watch the world go by.


For an over the top, indulgent evening that’s more of an experience than a simple dinner, head over to Bob Bob Ricard’s.  If you are looking for a more casual and relaxed eat, enjoy bistro with a twist at the highly acclaimed The Social Eating House.

Meet up hotspot?

During the day try a flat white at Flat White on Berwick Street – regularly raved about this café offers a trendy refuel in central Soho.  Soho House Kitchen and Bar on Old Compton Street is the ultimate place to be.  Offering French – American style food, and cocktails on tap, you’ll never want to leave.

Property – what’s on offer?

Soho has a real mixture of residential property to offer.  As estate agents in Soho will know, hidden above the shops there are some incredible apartments with rooftop gardens.  Many of Soho’s streets date back a long way and so properties tend to offer character and history to their occupiers.

As estate agents will tell you, with such a centralised location and an expansive residential portfolio, Soho is an incredibly desirable place to live.  For families, schools are within easy walking distance (e.g. Soho CofE Primary School, St Marylebone CofE Bridge School) and attractions such as Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery are only a short distance.  Young professionals benefit from the huge number of thriving businesses in the area, especially in creative areas such as marketing and television.  Furthermore, due to the large number of restaurants and bars in the area, Soho provides its residents with a social, community feel.


For more information about property in Soho and Covent Garden, contact Davis Brown Estate Agents, Fitzrovia.

Step-by-Step Sellers Guide

Selling your house is a daunting task, full of questions and decisions – do I redecorate? How do I find a solicitor? What is the right price? Davis Brown offers a bespoke sales service, and can support you throughout the whole process, from valuation to completion. Davis Brown is a firm of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in W1 and is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors so when you sell your home with us you can take advantage of our professional expertise.  With roots dating back to 1901, we feel we have the knowledge and credentials to achieve the best result for you.

To give you an insight into the basic stages of selling a property in London, we have created a step-by-step guide.

Arrange a valuation & appoint an agent                                               

First things first, arrange a valuation with a couple of local Estate Agents in central London.   Our Residential Team can provide sales valuations free of charge and you can call us on 020 7637 1066 to arrange a time and date that suits you.

Preparing your property


It is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate prepared for marketing purposes and Davis Brown Estate Agents can organise this for you.

Dress to sell

Presentation is key and it will really help securing a successful sale.   We have set out below some useful tips and recommendations:

  • De-clutter – remove personal items to create a sense of space
  • Re-decorate if possible – buyers prefer neutral finishes
  • Professionally clean carpets
  • Provide good lighting – use bright bulbs and lamps to lighten up dark areas
  • Soft furnishing – Use bold colours for cushions, rugs, lamps etc.
  • Create as much storage space as possible
  • Take care of any external maintenance including gardens/guttering

We can advise on all the necessary steps prior to letting your property, including furnishing, redecorating, refurbishing. Davis Brown Chartered Surveyors has an in-house project management team who can tailor the project to suit your individual needs.

Prepare your paperwork and appoint a solicitor

Ensure your paperwork is in order to avoid delays when an offer is accepted. Finding a good and reliable solicitor is important to ensure the sale is completed efficiently. Ask family and friends for their recommendations if you are unsure.  Alternatively, Davis Brown Chartered Surveyors London can give some guidance.

Marketing & Viewings

We will propose a marketing plan tailor made to your property.   Davis Brown has access to all the major property portals, such as and Zoopla, as well as our own bespoke website: We will prepare a set of colour property details, individual designed to the property. Furthermore, as we are an independent estate agency in Fitzrovia, we also make use of the local community, advertising within local businesses and publications to maximise exposure.

It is important that your property gets maximum viewing exposure so viewing times should be as flexible as possible.  All viewings are accompanied by a member of our staff.

Accepting an Offer

Davis Brown usually first submit an offer to you verbally and follow it up in writing. An offer is not legally binding until exchange of contracts.

If the offer is acceptable, we will prepare a Memorandum of Sale which is sent to you, your solicitor, the buyer and the buyer’s solicitors.   The Memorandum of Sale will state the agreed price and any conditions of the sale.

Your solicitor will prepare a draft contract which will be sent to the buyer’s solicitors with other relevant documentation; for example the lease, details of the service charge.  The buyer’s solicitor will also apply for searches with the local authority.   If the buyer requires a mortgage, you should be prepared for the bank’s valuation surveyor to inspect the property.  The buyer may also wish to instruct structural surveyor.

Exchange of Contracts

An exchange of contracts will take place once the buyer and seller have agreed on the contract and the buyer’s solicitors have received satisfactory responses to their enquires.  If the buyer requires a mortgage, they will need to ensure they have a mortgage offer in place.   The contract will be signed by both parties and the deposit monies, which are usually 10% of the purchase price, will be transferred to your solicitor.   A completion date is then set which is mutually agreed by all parties.

The contract becomes legally binding and neither party can withdraw without paying a substantial amount in compensation.

Organising your move

There is usually a three to four week period between exchange and completion so it is time to start packing up and re-confirm details of your move with the removal company.


Completion will take place when the remaining monies (usually 90% of the property price) are transferred from the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor and vacant possession is taken.   Your solicitor will call you to confirm that completion has taken place and Davis Brown Estate Agents W1 will release the keys to the new owner!

Davis Brown Estate Agents, Fitzrovia would be delighted to help you achieve the best possible price for your property, and can support you every step of the way.  Contact us to speak to Emma our Residential Manager, or Sarah-Jane our Residential Negotiator.

Party Wall Awards Explained

We have long experience of dealing with party wall matters and other boundary issues between neighbours. With the introduction of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, statutory procedures now apply to the whole of England and Wales. We are able to give advice on a professional footing and to accept statutory appointments under the Act either for building owner or adjoining owner. You must tell your neighbours if you want to carry out any building work near or on your shared property boundary, or ‘party wall’, in England and Wales.

What is a party wall Award?

A Party wall Award allows building owners to lawfully undertake work at or close to the party wall. It is a legally binding document that safeguards the rights of the respective parties and is drawn up by specialist party wall surveyors. The Party wall award is a document which clearly sets out the nature of the works intended and a guideline governing how the proposed works should progress. This protects both parties either side of the party wall from damage, claims and lengthy legal battles.

In the majority of cases the surveyors will produce a written schedule of the relevant parts of the adjoining owners premises called a schedule of condition. This document means that the surveyors have a point of reference and can return to the property after the works have been completed to identify any damage that may have occurred.

What are the costs involved?

In most circumstances, the costs involved in drawing up a party wall award are paid for by the building owner who is proposing to do work as the work will only benefit him or her. There are however situations where fees may be apportioned between the parties, usually when the adjoining owner will derive some benefit from the works.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with any Party wall matters, please contact David Moon or Tony Guergis on 020 7637 1066 for further information.

Covent Garden: A Guide to the Area


Covent Garden is an iconic area of London, with its vast array of restaurants, shops, hotels and of course theatre.  However as all London estate agents know, Covent Garden also has a superb and diverse mix of residential property to offer.

Where is it?

Just South of Soho, Covent Garden is located in central London, bordered by the City of London and Leicester Square.

Did you know?

As estate agents in Covent Garden can tell you, the name Covent Garden does in fact derive from ‘convent garden’. The area provided much of London’s supply of fruit and veg in the 13th century, and it belonged to the Convent of St Peter at Westminster.

When Henry the Eighth decided to go through with the dissolution of the monasteries throughout England around 1540, the land was given to the first Earl of Bedford. In 1627 the famous architect Inigo Jones was commissioned to build grand houses around the Piazza, which were highly sought after by distinguished gentlemen of the era. As well as these buildings which still stand today, the original cobbles can still be seen on certain streets such as Floral Street. Estate agents in Covent Garden can tell you more about the history of the various buildings which have now been converted to residential use.

Getting about

The best way to get around Covent Garden is to walk – small quiet streets just off the Piazza make for easy short cuts away from the hustle and bustle.  As estate agents in Fitzrovia, we travel on foot to Covent Garden, it’s the easiest way as only residents and locals know their way through the winding streets.

Transport links are also extensive with immediate access to five different tube lines from Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment, as well as regional and national rail connections from Charing Cross, Waterloo and City Thameslink.

The area is particularly convenient for those who work in the City or in the legal profession based around Holborn, as it is easily within walking distance of both districts.

Things to do

Covent Garden is renowned for its theatres and musical venues, including St Martin’s Theatre, which still shows the world’s longest-running production, The Mousetrap. There is also the stunning Royal Opera House, which has been entertaining people for over 200 years, and is also home to the Royal Ballet Company.

Somerset House, a hub of creativity and art is a short walk away and hosts a huge number of events and workshops – in the summer months look out for concerts and over Christmas book in to the famous ice rink.

Spend some time window shopping – whilst Covent Garden is home to some big brands, if you leave the main streets you’ll find a vast selection of unique and independent boutiques such as Christys’ Hat Shop which has been open since 1773.


Newly refurbished, The Ivy is iconic and for those of you wanting to splash out, it’s a must.  For a quicker bit to eat, drop in to Pix where food is served buffet style for you to pick and choose at your own pace.  For a romantic evening, Clos Maggiore is the perfect place to spend the night sampling exquisite French cuisine.

Meet up hotspot

Dirty Martini is the place to be after dark – cocktail lovers can while away an evening sampling a host of different drinks created by the expert mixologists.   Alternatively try the Corinthia Hotel to meet up with friends in the luxury of this beautiful building.

Property – what’s on offer?

Covent Garden has a diverse mix of residential property to offer residents.  As all estate agents in Covent Garden will know, buildings range from modern ex-housing association flats with quirky gardens such as Stedham Chambers, to luxurious apartments on the highly desirable Floral Street where buildings date back to the 1600s.

With such a variety and expansive property portfolio, Covent Garden accommodates families and young professionals alike.  Schools on offer include the St Clement Danes Primary School on Drury Lane and The Royal Ballet School on Floral Street.    Professionals benefit from the huge number of businesses within easy commuting distance, and the array of restaurants to take clients and colleagues.

For more information about properties in Covent Garden, please contact Emma or Sarah-Jane at Davis Brown Estate Agents on 0207 637 1066.


The Sanderson Hotel & Berners Street: Through the Ages


As all local estate agents will know, The Sanderson Hotel lies in the heart of Fitzrovia and is a modern and structural 1950s building, designed by Slater & Uren.  Boasting luxury rooms, Malaysian cuisine and the Agua Spa, it may come as a surprise to you to know that the original building was opened to celebrate the centenary of Sanderson.  This prestigious, British brand spent the majority of its life on Berners Street, and played a key role in the development of interior design as we know it today.

Davis Brown Estate Agents takes a look into the heritage of Fitzrovia, and the significance of residential and commercial property on Berners Street.

In 1860 Arthur Sanderson established himself as an importer of French wallpapers.  Merchandise was lavish and expensive, full of texture and colour.  Originally based in Islington, Sanderson moved to Soho Square in 1862 and soon became known as one of the biggest dealers of foreign products in England.  Sanderson kept his estate agents busy, and shortly after his first move, in 1865 he re-located to 52 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, and proceeded to spread his empire along the road, renting out development and showroom space.  This small street to the north of Oxford Street was to be the home of Sanderson until 1992.

The expansion of the firm continued to such an extent that in 1879, Arthur Sanderson, commissioned a factory to be built in Chiswick to house the manufacturing of his wallpaper.  By 1895 the company occupied numbers 50-55 Berners Street and was declared to be the largest wallpaper showroom in London. By the end of the 1800s, Sanderson joined the Wall Paper Manufacturers Ltd and controlled 98% of trade, exporting to the British Colonies and the USA.

In the early 1900s, developments in technology and printing enabled Sanderson to be one of the first companies to advertise in colour.  The success continued – not only was another factory opened in Uxbridge, the showroom was again expanded and Arthur continued his monopolisation of Berners Street, Fitzrovia.  However, production was brought to a halt with the outbreak of World War II.  Shortages and paper rationing meant pattern books could not be created, and not long after the Sanderson factories were called up to duty and engaged in wartime production.  The Uxbridge factory was tasked with manufacturing camouflage for aircraft, Red Cross haversacks and was even used for experimental work with anti-radar equipment.  The end of the war saw a period of prosperity sweep across Britain, and in 1946, Sanderson was represented at the V&A Museum exhibition ‘Britain Can Make It’.  Following the show, Sanderson was awarded Royal Warrants and continued to produce outstanding shows at the Berners Street, Fitzrovia showrooms.

In 1960, Sanderson’s celebrated it centenary by moving to the long awaited new offices at 58-60 Berners Street, W1.  The occasion was marked with an exhibition of Sanderson’s work and products.  The new building continued to serve as home to Sanderson, and the company celebrated its 125th anniversary there with another exhibition and a re-vamped showroom.

In 1992 the Berners Street offices and showrooms were closed.  The hotel in Fitzrovia was put up for sale by estate agents and it was not until April 2000 that the newly renovated Sanderson Hotel opened.  The hotel is now in its 15th year, and commemorates its important heritage with bold, colorful interiors and regularly hosting art and fashion events.

Next time you stroll along Berners Street take a closer look at the Sanderson Hotel, Fitzrovia, and feel proud that such an important company called the small road near you, home.

Contact Davis Brown Estate Agents and Chartered Suveyors for more information about commercial and residential property in Fitzrovia.