Accountant neighbours’ £100k seven-year battle over parking

The drive outside the accountants’ Harefield homes (Champion News)
The drive outside the accountants’ Harefield homes (Champion News)

Two accountants have spent £100,000 in a bitter seven-year feud over a “few feet” of parking space outside their west London homes, a court has heard.

Ivan Soares, 53, and Manish Kothari, 41, have been at war over parking in their Harefield cul-de-sac since 2015, with police at one point called out.

Mr Kothari and his brother and sister-in-law accuse their neighbour and his wife Sunita of “selfish parking,” claiming they deliberately left their vehicles only inches away on the drive to make it hard for them to even open their car door. But Mr and Mrs Soares say the Kotharis have trespassed on their own parking space, with both sides seeking injunctions to settle the feud.

At the Central London county court, Judge Simon Monty KC heard £100,000 in legal bills have already been racked up, with more set to be spent. Noting the two sides are “arguing about a few feet of parking”, the judge remarked: “It seems to me they are arguing about very little at a great risk to themselves in terms of costs.”

The row centres on two parking spaces in Fallowfield Close, Harefield, owned by Mr and Mrs Soares and a third in between owned by the Kotharis.

In the past, a “swap” deal let the Soares’ use two spaces on the left and the Kotharis the space on the right. But they fell out over accusations of inconsiderate parking, the court heard, and the Soares’ are seeing compensation for alleged trespass from 2018 to 2020.

The Kotharis are countersuing for an injunction to prevent Mr and Mrs Soares blocking the drive and their lawyers said: “The nuisance had got so intolerable the defendants ceased to park in their one and only parking bay on 23rd July 2022.”

Barrister Maxwell Myers, for Mr and Mrs Soares, said a judge last year confirmed they had validly revoked the swap deal. Mr Kothari, presenting his own case in court, accused the Soares’ of “trespassing” onto his space. The Soares’ deny this and are seeking thousands of pounds in damages for the use of their space. The case was adjourned until a trial next year, which will also decide who pays the legal bill.