Neigbours in West London have spent £100,000 on a four-year legal battle a “few feet” wide parking space, a news report has claimed. According to the news report, Mr Kothari, his brother and his sister-in-law have accused their neighbour and his wife, Sunita, of deliberately leaving vehicles inches away from theirs, making it hard for them to open the car door.
On the other hand, Mr and Mrs Soares accused their neighbours of trespassing on their own parking space, with tensions running so high that police have been involved.
The battle has already reached the court and is set for another three-day trial.
Judge Simon Monty has urged the neighbours to settle their differences without wasting any more money.
The clash is about three car parking spaces outside their home in Fallowfield Close, Harefield.
Of these two parking places, two are owned by Mr and Mrs Soares and a third in between them is owned by the Kotharis.
Historically the families agreed to swap spaces, reports claim. Under this deal, the Soareses used the two adjacent spaces on the left, closest to their house, with the Kotharis using the one on the right.
However, the Soareses scrapped the arrangement in 2018, following a row over claims of inconsiderate parking.
They are now seeking compensation for trespass, alleging that the Kotharis continued to park in the disputed space for nearly two years after the swap deal ended.
In documents filed at the court, the Kotharis complain that their neighbours have made it impossible for them to use their parking space in the middle of the three.
Thet said: “The claimants have caused deliberate nuisance to the defendants by parking few inches away from defendant’s vehicle, making it extremely difficult to enter [and] exit (the) vehicle.
“The nuisance had got so intolerable the defendants ceased to park in their one and only parking bay on July 23, 2022.
“The defendants (the Kotharis) are seeking damages as the court sees fit on this point, as this deliberate nuisance has gone on for many years.”
Barrister Maxwell Myers, who is appearing for Mr and Mrs Soares claimed the couple are now seeking thousands in damages for the Kotharis’ use of the space between September 2018 and August 2020, as well as a permanent injunction barring their use of the space.
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He told the judge: “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.”
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.
He also said that the current arrangements were “untenable”.
However, Mr Kothari, who presented his own case in court, claimed he and his family have themselves been the victims of blocked access and “trespassing onto our official parking space”.
He claimed that the way Mr and Mrs Soares had parked sometimes left his car boxed in, as they have encroached onto the Kotharis’ official parking spot.
The Kotharis are counter-suing their neighbours, seeking a court order barring them from trespassing onto the Kotharis’ space and from “parking in such a way as to cause deliberate nuisance and stress”.
He told the judge: “We have tried to engage, we have been very civil, but we can’t even access our car.
“We can’t park our car in our parking space and have not been able to do so since July.”
In response, Myers denied that the Soareses had ever trespassed and said there was therefore no need for the judge to grant an injunction.
Judge Monty noted that at one point the police were involved in the spat, adding: “Feelings are obviously running very high.”
He added: “If the parties want to spend £50,000 arguing about a few feet of parking, they can do so . . . but it seems to me they are arguing about very little at a great risk to themselves in terms of costs”.
The judge was then told by Myers that the legal costs so far were “double” the figure he had suggested.
The trial was adjourned until next year.