ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A popular Albuquerque bike shop fought back after its landlord left an eviction notice on their door just a few days after Christmas. The eviction notice has since been canceled, but the shop owner is still speaking out hoping it could help another small business.
The owner of The Bike Coop, Amanda Batty, loves the university neighborhood. “This has been our address for over 10 years. We’re a small business and I like this neighborhood. It’s a fantastic neighborhood,” she said. Batty doesn’t want to leave the spot on Yale near Central, despite ongoing issues she says she’s had with the building’s owners.
“It’s just been one issue after another to where every time I’ve been like, ‘hey, just a heads up,’ it’s been dismissed,” Batty said. She said after an attempted break-in in October, six contractors have come by unannounced without any repairs made.
“Luckily, they didn’t break in or anything but they thoroughly damaged the door; enough to where it won’t lock. Our whole front wall moved back, our windows are loose,” she said. She also claims she’s asked the building owner repeatedly for plumbing issues to be fixed.
“The only choice that we have is to withhold rent, which is completely legal in the state of New Mexico with just cause. Especially, if the lease has already been violated by the landlord,” Batty said.
She withheld November and December rent and said she had some back-and-forth communication with the owners when she got the eviction notice last week, during the thick of the holidays. “I was like no, absolutely not,” said Batty. She posted the notice to social media, gaining support from community members.
“To shine a light on poor behavior from landlords, in order to possibly help them understand that community members will fight back,” she said. “I think that people underestimate female small business owners in particular, and so for me, I wanted people to know.”
According to Batty, the eviction was canceled shortly after posting the notice to social media. In a statement, SVN Walt Arnold Commercial Brokerage, Inc., who sent the eviction notice, said, “The Bike Coop has been a long-term tenant at the Bricklight and the owners appreciate all the efforts of The Bike Coop and their commitment to the community. The owners and the tenant are meeting in the next several days to discuss issues regarding the lease.”