Twitter Faces Lawsuit Amidst Claims It Stopped Paying Rent

Twitter Faces Lawsuit Amidst Claims It Stopped Paying Rent

A San Francisco landlord filed a lawsuit against Twitter, Inc. on Thursday, claiming the company is in breach of their rental agreement. The landlord, Columbia REIT-650 California LLC, claims Twitter owes $US136,260 ($189,156) for rent at its 650 California Street office space, according to the lawsuit.

Twitter signed a seven-year lease for the space in 2017, which is separate from its headquarters in San Francisco and is located in the city’s financial district. The landlord sent Twitter a Notice of Default on December 16, warning the tech company it had five days to respond and pay the amount owed.

Twitter, which no longer has a media communications department, did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

Columbia REIT claims in the lawsuit that Twitter did not pay the required amount in the allotted timeframe and is therefore in breach of the contract. A Columbia REIT spokesperson declined to comment on the pending litigation.

The news comes as Twitter reportedly had not paid rent in weeks amidst mass layoffs and other budget cuts, The New York Times reported last month. Sources familiar with the matter told The Times that Musk asked his team to renegotiate the terms of the company’s lease agreements or simply terminate them.

The outlet revealed Twitter had not paid rent to its San Francisco headquarters or any other global offices for weeks and closed its downtown Seattle office on Friday. Additionally, CEO Elon Musk reduced the office space from four floors to two in its San Francisco headquarters, according to The New York Times.

A separate lawsuit filed by Private Jet Services Group, LLC claims the company also didn’t pay a bill for private charter flights amounting to $US197,725 ($274,482) in the week of Musk’s Twitter takeover.

Musk acquired Twitter in October for $US44 ($61) billion and two weeks after purchasing the tech company, reportedly told employees that bankruptcy was not “out of the question” if it did not make more money, Bloomberg reported in November.

Since taking ownership of the company, Musk has laid off more than half of Twitter employees and has cut back on staff perks including free food and work trips.

In an interview with George Holtz last month, Musk addressed Twitter’s finances comparing it to a “plane that is headed towards the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work.” He added, “That’s why I spent the last five weeks cutting costs like crazy.”

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