Townhouse broker stuck in neighbor spat over property damage, assault

Leslie J. Garfield’s Ravi Kantha spars over Brooklyn Heights renovations

Leslie J. Garfield's Ravi Kantha (Leslie J. Garfield, Getty)
Leslie J. Garfield's Ravi Kantha (Leslie J. Garfield, Getty)

A broker specializing in Manhattan and Brooklyn townhouse sales found himself in the middle of a fiery neighbor dispute sparked from renovations — to their Brooklyn Heights townhouse

Leslie J. Garfield broker Ravi Kantha and his wife, attorney Kathryn Kantha, hit back against a lawsuit by their next door neighbor, who claimed property damage, assault, battery and infliction of emotional distress, among other claims.  

“At the onset, the allegations against the defendants are outrageous and untrue,” an attorney for the Kanthas argued in an affirmation of support filed in response to the suit. 

In the complaint filed in January, the couple’s neighbor, Joan Goldberg, alleges renovations on the Kanthas’ home damaged her property, including causing cracks in her walls, damage to her facade and air quality contamination from dust, debris and “noxious fumes.” 

According to the lawsuit, the damage resulted from the Kantha’s failure to install a monitoring program, which the city requires to ensure minimal construction damage to neighboring homes. The Kanthas renovated their home starting in October 2019 and continued until 2021.   

Goldberg also claimed her attempts to negotiate with the Kanthas to repair the damage to her property were met with “repeated instances of verbal and physical abuse.” One instance described in the complaint includes Ravi ringing Goldberg’s doorbell multiple times and screaming, “your house is a standing pile of shit, fuck off.”

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The complaint also alleges Kathryn followed Goldberg to her car and slammed her car door shut while yelling, “you sick c***, you have no idea who I am, where I come from and what I can do to you.”

The couple filed a motion on March 7 to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that neither of them were served with a summons notice, on top of a statute of limitations rendering some claims inadmissible and lack of detail describing the alleged property damage. 

A spokesperson for the broker declined to comment on the ongoing dispute but provided copies of three work applications filed by the Kanthas and approved by the Department of Buildings.  

Ravi is a founding member of the Lesser Kantha Team at Leslie J. Garfield, which specializes in townhouse sales. The brokerage finished in 13th among The Real Deal’s ranking of Manhattan’s top residential brokerages of 2022, reporting $164 million in closed sales volume across 24 deals. 

Before his career in real estate, Kantha served as a prosecutor and private practice attorney, according to his bio on the company’s website.

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