Neighbors at war over parking ‘too close’ to each other in £100,000 lawsuit over space ‘few meters’ wide
FIRE neighbors have blown up £100,000 as they go to war over a few yards of parking space in a lawsuit.
Ivan Soares, 53, and Manish Kothari, 41, both accountants, have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over parking in their west London cul-de-sac since 2015.
Mr Kothari, his brother Sandip and sister-in-law Bindu Kothari have accused their neighbor and his wife Sunita of “selfish parking”.
The group claims they intentionally left their vehicles inches from theirs in front of the two houses, making it difficult for them to even open their car door.
Mr and Mrs Soares, meanwhile, have accused their neighbors of trespassing on their own car park, with tensions running high during the row that the police were called in.
The dispute has already been taken to court once before, raking in £100,000 in lawyers’ bills – but now faces another three-day trial, though Judge Simon Monty is urging neighbors to settle their differences without wasting any more money.
The row of neighbors revolves around three parking spaces in front of their houses in Fallowfield Close, Harefield, two belonging to Mr and Mrs Soares and a third in between belonging to the Kotharis.
In the past, Mr. and Mrs. Soares had permitted a “swap” arrangement, in which they parked their vehicles in the two adjacent lots on the left closest to their home, while the Kotharis used the space on the right.
The couple said it was a “sensible” move as it allowed them to park their cars together in front of their home while their neighbors parked closest to their own home and garage.
But neighbors fell out over the parking arrangement – following allegations of reckless parking – and in September 2018 Mr and Mrs Soares “revoked” the swap agreement, their lawyers told Judge Monty.
They are now demanding compensation for the Kotharis “trespassing” on their land by parking in the disputed space for nearly two years after the deal was struck.
However, the Kotharis are opposing an injunction to prevent Mr and Mrs Soares from blocking their shared driveway or doing anything to intentionally make their car difficult to park.
In files filed with the court, the Kotharis complain that their neighbors made it impossible for them to use their parking lot in the middle of the three.
“The plaintiffs willfully harassed the defendants by parking within inches of the defendant’s vehicle, making it extremely difficult to get inside [and] get out of the vehicle,” they say.
“The harassment had become so intolerable that on July 23, 2022, the defendants stopped parking in their only parking bay.
“The defendants (the Kotharis) are seeking damages, as the court sees fit on this point, given that this willful harassment has been going on for many years.”
For Mr. and Mrs. Soares, Attorney Maxwell Myers said the Kotharis initially argued about whether their neighbors owned the room on the right-hand side closest to the Kotharis home, which attorneys called the “new room,” since it was added after the houses were built.
However, Mr and Mrs Soares claimed it was in the deeds when they bought the house in 2006 and finally last year a judge awarded them ownership and possession of the premises and ruled that they also validated the swap agreement had revoked. he said.
He said the couple are now seeking thousands in damages for the Kotharis’ use of the room between September 2018 and August 2020, as well as a permanent injunction prohibiting their use of the room.
We tried to engage, we were very polite but we can’t even access our car.
“Mr and Mrs Soares allege that the trespassing defendants continued to park in the new square and also – in violation of the agreement and harassment – blocked the driveway by parking cars in front of the squares,” he told the judge.
They are also asking the court for advice on how to clearly demarcate the three parking lots around the gravel driveway to avoid future trouble. The current regulations are “unsustainable,” he said.
But Manish Kothari, who brought his own case to court, claimed he and his family were themselves victims of barricades and “entering our official car park”.
He claimed that the way Mr and Mrs Soares had parked left his car stuck at times when they trespassed on the Kotharis’ official car park.
The Kotharis are suing their neighbors, seeking a court order barring them from entering the Kotharis’ property and “parking in a manner that causes intentional harassment and distress.”
“We tried to get involved, we were very polite, but we can’t even access our car,” he told Judge Monty.
“We cannot park our car in our car park and have not been able to since July.”
But for the neighbors, Mr Myers denied that Mr and Mrs Soares had ever entered Kothari parking lots and so an injunction was not needed.
He said Mr and Mrs Soares never had to trespass on the Kotharis’ area as there is enough space to park all three cars at once.
Noting how police were once involved in the neighbors’ dispute, Judge Monty added: “Feelings are obviously running very high”.
“If the parties want to spend £50,000 to argue over a few yards of parking I suppose they can, but it seems to me that they are arguing about very little at a great cost risk to themselves,” he commented. before being told “It’s double” by Mr. Myers.
Due to a lack of court time, Judge Monty adjourned the final trial until next year, when the trespassing issues, the restraining orders claimed and the payment of the £100,000 bill in the dispute will be decided.
https://www.the-sun.com/motors/6861532/neighbours-legal-battle-few-feet-parking-space-london/ Neighbors at war over parking ‘too close’ to each other in £100,000 lawsuit over space ‘few meters’ wide