Accountants spend £100,000 on parking row that's lasted seven years

Two accountants have ended up spending £100,000 in a seven-year long legal battle over a ‘few feet’ of parking space.

It all revolves around three parking spaces outside their homes in Harefield, west London.

Two are owned by Ivan Soares, 53, while a third sandwiched in the middle is owned by his neighbour Manish Kothari, 41.

Mr Kothari, 41, and his relatives have accused Mr Soares, 53, of ‘selfish parking’, claiming cars are deliberately left inches from theirs.

But Mr Soares and his wife have accused their neighbours of trespassing on their own parking space.

The two neighbours used to have a ‘swap arrangement’, where they used spaces closest to their homes, but this deal broke down in September 2018.

The Soares family are now seeking thousands of pounds from the Kotharis for allegedly trespassing between September 2018 and August 2020, on top of a permanent injunction barring any use of their spaces.

The Kotharis are countersuing for an injunction to prevent Mr and Mrs Soares blocking the shared driveway or doing anything to deliberately make parking their car difficult.

Tensions have run so high in the past the police have got involved.

The neighbours are now set for another three-day trial, despite the judge urging them to settle their differences and stop wasting money.

In documents filed to the court, the Kotharis say: ‘The nuisance had got so intolerable the defendants (the Kotharis) ceased to park in their one and only parking bay on July 23, 2022.

‘The defendants are seeking damages as the court sees fit on this point, as this deliberate nuisance has gone on for many years.’

Barrister for the Soares’, Maxwell Myers, said the Kotharis had initially disputed whether their neighbours owned the space on the right, closest to the Kothari house, because it was added after the houses were built.

However, Mr and Mrs Soares claimed it was included in the deeds when they bought the house in 2006 and a judge last year awarded the space to them.

‘Mr and Mrs Soares allege that the defendants, in trespass, continued parking in the new space and also – in breach of covenant and nuisance – blocked the drive by parking cars in front of the spaces,’ he told the judge.

They are also seeking the court’s guidance about how the three parking spaces around the gravel drive can be clearly marked off to prevent future trouble. The current arrangements were ‘untenable,’ he said.

Judge Simon Monty added: ‘If the parties want to spend £50,000 arguing about a few feet of parking, they can do so I suppose, but it seems to me they are arguing about very little at a great risk to themselves in terms of costs.’

He was then told by Mr Myers: ‘It’s double that.’

Judge Monty adjourned the latest trial until next year when the issues over trespassing, injunctions and who will foot the £100,000 legal bill will be decided.

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