Top tips for getting your deposit back in full at the end of your tenancy

As Estate Agents in W1, we are often asked by Tenants how they can get back their rental deposit.  When you move into a rented property, you can expect to pay between one or two month’s rent as a deposit. This is a large sum of money and we have put together some tips to help make sure you get deposit back at the end of your tenancy.

The protection of deposits on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy has greatly improved since 2007 where new legislation came into effect for a Landlord or their agent to place the deposit in a government authorised tenancy deposit scheme.  The Landlord or Agent must write to you within 30 days from receiving the deposit to confirm which deposit scheme the deposit has been registered to.  If the deposit has not been protected, the Landlord could pay you between one and three times the value of your deposit.

We asked our ARLA qualified estate agents in Fitzrovia what Tenants should do to ensure the return of their deposit in full.  There are three simple steps:


  1. Do not break the terms of your tenancy agreement

At the start of your tenancy, carefully check the agreement before you sign it, ensure you fully understand the terms and what is required from you as a Tenant.  Check the deposit clause within the tenancy agreement and identify the Tenancy Deposit Prescribed Information (TDPI) – the Landlord cannot serve a valid Section 21 Notice for possession if the TDPI has not been signed.

If you need to make any amendments to agreement during the tenancy, contact your Landlord or Agent immediately. There might be a small charge involved, but it is better than breaking the terms of the agreement and suffering a greater loss later on.


  1. Leave the property in good condition

It is advisable to have an inventory and schedule of condition prepared at the start of the tenancy.  It is therefore important to check you are happy with the contents of the inventory and to note any discrepancies to the Landlord or Agent.  Put any correspondence in writing so that you have a paper trail in case there is any dispute at a later date.

During your tenancy, inform the Landlord or Agent if any part of the property or its contents becomes broken or damaged.  It is better to be upfront if the damage has been caused by you. Trying to repair it could cause more damage and cost you more in the long term.

At the end of the tenancy, read through the tenancy agreement and the inventory to remind yourself of your responsibilities.  If you are required to have the property professionally cleaned, ask the Landlord or Agent if they have a preferred contact they would like you to use.   Keep the receipts as evidence but also make sure the property is cleaned to the standard it was found.

The property should be left in the same condition as when you moved in, allowing for ‘fair wear and tear’.  What doesn’t count as fair wear and tear?  Examples include a build-up of lime-scale in the bathroom, mould that has formed as a result of a room not being ventilated properly and general dirt and grime as these are things that should be maintained during your tenancy.  Remove all rubbish and belongings, even if you do not want them (e.g. crockery and cutlery) as you may be charged for removal costs.


  1. Pay your rent and bills

The inventory and check-in will usually record the meter readings and it is your responsibility to register your name with the utility companies and pay the bills on time and in full up until the end of the tenancy.  The Landlord can recover non-payment of utilities from the deposit.


At the end of the tenancy, the Landlord or Agent has a certain time period to write to you confirming whether they plan to make any deductions.  Make sure they contact you within this time frame.  Read through the deposit clauses in your tenancy agreement as the timescales can vary.   If you cannot come to an agreement, it is time to refer to the case onto an Independent Case Examiner of the Tenancy Protection Scheme.  We hope that most cases won’t have to be referred, however our useful points above provided by our Agent Estates in W1 should give you some guidance for your next property adventure.


Contact Davis Brown Estate Agents in the West End for more information.

Bayswater: A Guide to the Area

Where is it?

As all estate agents in W1 will tell you, Bayswater is situated within the City of Westminster and lies in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.  A predominantly residential area, Bayswater sits to the North of Hyde Park and is sandwiched by Marylebone and Notting Hill.  As our estate agents know, Bayswater is directly to the West of Fitzrovia and is simply a couple of stops away on the tube.

Did you know?

Bayswater was originally owned by the Abbey of Westminster, as detailed in the Book of Domesday.  Bayswater today now has the largest number of hotels of any region. It is thought that the term ‘Bayswater’ dates back to 1380 and derives from ‘Bayards’ Watering Place’ which was the name of the stream that flows under Uxbridge Road.

Getting about

Residents of Bayswater are spoilt for choice.  As estate agents in Fitzrovia, we always use the large selection of public transport on offer to get about.  There are five underground stations in Bayswater: Notting Hill Gate, Royal Oak, Queensway, Lancaster Gate and of course Bayswater.  The five stations offer connections via the Circle, District, Central and the Hammersmith and City Line.  Residents also benefit from easy access to the nearby Paddington Overground station which has extensive transport links to across the country.

Things to do

Hyde Park has a jam packed calendar of events year round, from concerts to fun runs. There is something for everyone, however for those of you looking for something a little more relaxing, the famous Whiteleys shopping centre is the place to head.  Constructed in 1912, the store used to be known as the place one could purchase everything from ‘a pin to an elephant’.


Opened in October 2007, Hereford Road (on Hereford Road!) occupies a site that was once a Victorian butcher’s shop.  This highly acclaimed restaurant champions British food and is a must for anyone in the area.  For those of you on a health kick, try Daylesford Organic Café on Westbourne Grove where the menu is changed seasonally and the focus is on fresh, organic produce.

Meet up hotspot

The Swan on Hereford Road is an 18th Century coaching inn, famous for its terrace bar and location (just across the road from Hyde Park!).

What’s on offer?

As estate agents in W1 will know, Bayswater is one of the move diverse areas of London, with an eclectic and extensive range of property on offer.  Traditional streets and garden squares are juxtaposed with inter-war, purpose built large apartment blocks.  The majority of Bayswater however is made up of Georgian, stucco fronted houses which are either divided up into flats or have retained their original layout.  More recent developments also characterise the area, such as the 650 unit Hallfield Estate, designed for the council by Sir Denys Lasdun.  The range of properties on offer means the area is a melting pot of culture, wealth and ethnicity – giving Bayswater its reputation of being one of the most cosmopolitan areas in London.

For families there are a huge range of good schools on offer, from St James & St John’s Church of England Primary School to the prestigious Westminster Academy Secondary School.  Furthermore, the selection of parks available locally makes for an ideal combination of city living with green space.

For young professionals Bayswater offers extensive transport links which means easy commutable distance to all parts of London.


As all estate agents in W1 will tell you, Bayswater is a fantastic area with so much to offer its residents.  From traditional white terraced houses to Whitley’s shopping centre, Bayswater has it all.  To find your perfect property in the area, please contact Davis Brown estate agents, Fitzrovia to find out more.

Considering a commercial investment in London?

Considering investing in a property?  Davis Brown – a firm of Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents in W1 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 are a few criteria that you should consider first of all:

  • Property Price
  • Lease Length
  • Tenant Covenants
  • Yield
  • Re-Letting Opportunities

Investor’s Considerations:

As all commercial agents know, one of the first things you need to look into are the terms of the current tenant’s leases.  Make sure you have been sent full documentation of all of the leases including “side letters” or “Schedules of Condition” which may be attached to the leases as this could diminish their liability on keeping the premises in good repair and condition or may limit their responsibility in contributing financially in any future works that are undertaken.

When checking any leases, check the expiry dates and any break options (whether landlord or tenant), ensure these dates and terms have been adhered to.

Ask to see the current tenant’s company accounts and check if there are any outstanding rent demands etc, are all the tenants up to date on rent?  The agents acting on behalf of the vendor should be able to supply you with this information.

Find out when the last works to the property were undertaken; are they overdue, do all works that have been undertaken meet current Health and Safety Regulations as well as Building Regulations.

Submitting your Offer:

Commercial Investment Property in London can be marketed in various ways.  Some properties will be put to the “open market” and have no time scale for submitting an offer.  Others will have a “deadline date” where all offers must be made by a certain time/date and will be either by “Informal Tender” or “Sealed Bids”, Davis Brown will be happy to help.

Offers must be made in writing.  Advise the estate agent if there are any conditions to your offer (i.e. your offer is unconditional, subject to any lease renewals or submitted subject to survey).  Supply proof of funding to the vendor together with your solicitor details and a realistic time scale when you can exchange and complete on the purchase.  On some purchases, the vendor may have set the exchange and completion dates, check with your solicitor that you can meet with this time scale.  Try to supply as much information as possible to the vendor supporting your offer.  As commercial agents based in W1, Davis Brown can guide you through this process.


Accepted Offer:

Once your offer has been accepted, the vendor or their agent will send Heads of Terms out to all relevant parties, including your solicitor.  Once these have been agreed and solicitors instructed, make sure the property is then put “Under Offer” and ask for the property to be taken off the market and no further viewings will take place.  The vendor’s solicitors will then send a “legal pack” to your solicitor, which will include a draft contract and Report on Title.  This will then allow your solicitor to apply for local searches and raise any enquiries with the vendor’s solicitor.

Exchange of Contracts:

An exchange of contracts happen when both parties have agreed and signed the contract and the deposit monies have been transferred to the vendor’s solicitors (this is normally 10% of the purchase price).  As a general guide, allow 4 weeks from receipt of all legal documentation to your solicitor and exchange of contracts.  Check with your solicitor with regard to any insurance that may be required on the property between the exchange and completion date.  This is also a good time to look into the management of the tenanted property.  At our office in W1, we have a commercial property management team who will be happy to offer their expertise.


Completion happens when all remaining monies have been transferred to the vendor’s solicitors.  As a general guide, from exchange to completion allow 2 to 6 weeks.  Your solicitor will inform you when completion has taken place as it is at this time that the vendor will release the keys to you.

Once completed – make sure that you have adequate insurance in place, pay any outstanding Stamp Duty Land Tax (if applicable), and register your ownership with Land Registry. Finally, ensure that any meter readings that you’re responsible for are taken when the keys are handed over to you.

You also need to ensure that your tenants are aware of the new ownership and give them your full company and bank details so that the next payment date is a smooth transition for both landlord and tenant.

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


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.