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More landlords suing Twitter over late rent

by KELVIN CHAN The Associated Press | January 25, 2023 at 2:16 a.m.
FILE - Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco on Nov. 4, 2022. More landlords are taking Twitter to court over unpaid rent at the social media company’s headquarters in San Francisco and its British offices. It's the latest legal headache for billionaire owner Elon Musk, who has been trying to slash expenses and faces a separate lawsuit over Tesla. California court documents show that Twitter is facing a lawsuit over allegations it failed to pay rent for its head office. The owner of its premises in central London, meanwhile, said it’s taking the company to court over rental debt. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

More landlords are taking Twitter to court over unpaid rent, this time at the social media company's headquarters in San Francisco and at its British offices.

Twitter is facing a lawsuit over allegations it failed to pay rent for its head office, according to California court documents. The owner of its offices in central London, meanwhile, said it's taking the company to court over rental debt.

Musk has been cutting costs after his $44 billion Twitter buyout last year ultimately left the company on the hook for about $1 billion in annual interest payments. Twitter has already been taken to court this month for falling behind on rent at another San Francisco office.

The rental disputes are the latest legal headache for Musk, who has been testifying in recent days in a separate class-action lawsuit from Tesla Inc. investors alleging 2018 tweets by Musk misled them about funding to take the electric carmaker private.

The billionaire Tesla CEO's cost-cutting strategy for Twitter Inc. has included halving the company's 7,500-strong workforce and auctioning off memorabilia and office furniture.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment. Its communications department was shut down after Musk's acquisition.

The owner of Twitter's San Francisco headquarters, located at 1355 Market St., is suing the company after it failed to make its latest monthly rent payment, according to documents filed Friday with the Superior Court of California.

The company, Sri Nine Market Square LLC, said Twitter "breached the Lease by failing to pay monthly rent and additional rent" for January amounting to $3.4 million.

Twitter, which has leased three floors in the building since 2011, fell behind on a similar amount of rent in December, which Sri Nine Market Square recouped from a letter of credit Twitter offered as a security deposit, the filing said.

After using the credit, the landlord says, Twitter still owes $3.16 million in unpaid rent. The landlord is also seeking late fees and interest, plus attorneys' fees. The social media company still occupies the property, the landlord said.

In Britain, the Crown Estate has started court proceedings against Twitter after the company fell behind on rent at its offices near London's famed Piccadilly Circus.

The Crown Estate, which owns some of the priciest real estate in central London, said it took action after previous contact with Twitter over the unpaid rent. The Crown Estate is communicating with Twitter but provided no further information.

The estate is a vast property portfolio that includes much of London's Regent Street, as well as the Windsor estate. It's an independently run commercial business, but its profits are used as a benchmark of funding for the Sovereign Grant, which is the public money funding the British royal family's official work.

Print Headline: More landlords suing Twitter over late rent

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