Bronx tenant accuses landlord of making apartment unlivable with plywood door and cutoff gas

Resident Victoria Ramirez says she has been forced to use a plywood as a front door for a few days after she says landlord Scott Kalb showed up and took away the original one.

News 12 Staff

May 10, 2021, 10:34 PM

Updated 1,078 days ago

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Bronx residents and activists rallied in Mott Haven Monday to bring attention to a landlord they say has a history of allegations against him from his tenants that dates back over a decade and a half. 
Resident Victoria Ramirez says she has been forced to use a plywood as a front door for a few days after she says landlord Scott Kalb showed up and took away the original one. 
That’s just one in what Ramirez and neighbors call “a violent series of actions” from Kalb during a rally that started outside his office and ended at her home. 
She says she has missed paychecks during the coronavirus pandemic after undergoing surgery and was unable to meet rent a few times. 
Since the eviction moratorium legally bars the landlord from kicking her out, she says Kalb has instead worked to make her apartment unlivable -- accusing him of showing up unannounced and shoving her kid’s babysitter, cutting off the cooking gas and removing that door. 
She says calls to the rental office to complain has only made the matters worse. 
“They basically responded to me saying, 'If you feel so unsafe for your children, then you should leave, and if you don't, we'll call child welfare police on you,'” said Ramirez. 
News 12 spoke with Kalb on the phone, and he denied the accusations. He says he never shoved anyone and showed up to turn off the gas because his porter smelled a leak. 
As for the door, Kalb says the city told him the home has two others on the way and that since it is a historical building, the city said the third one was illegal since it changed the facade. 
Kalb says Ramirez refused to sign a lease and served her dispossess. 
“She's making the whole thing up. She's not like the top person on my list if I was trying to do anything.  She's like in the middle. I've got people who owe me $35,000,” said Kalb. 
Kalb says if he was trying to force her out in what’s called a constructive eviction, Ramirez would have other options as well. 
“She can get me in court in three days, I would love her to do that. I would love her to go down to 163rd Street in the courthouse and say she was locked out or attempted to lock out - and let's settle it in there,” said Kalb. 
One thing both agree on, with the Landlord Bailout Program recently passed, is that Kalb will be getting his money either way. 
They both say they aren’t worried about whether or not he’ll get his money and that it wouldn’t be a reason to be doing this. 


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