Royal f*** up | 

Royal family sue Twitter after Elon Musk’s company allegedly stopped paying rent on London HQ

Court lists showed the case against Twitter had been filed at the High Court in London last week

Elon Musk. Picture: Reuters© REUTERS

Robert Burnson and Joe SchneiderReuters

Britain's Crown Estate, an independent commercial business that manages the property portfolio belonging to the monarchy, has begun court proceedings against Twitter over alleged unpaid rent on its London headquarters.

Court lists showed the case against Twitter had been filed at the High Court in London last week.

In a statement, the Crown Estate, which owns some of the most expensive land in central London, said the action related to "rental arrears" on the social media platform's office space in the British capital.

Twitter did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

The company laid off half its workforce after it was taken over by Elon Musk last October. In London, the office was left deserted and any evidence that Twitter had once occupied the building were erased.

Under new owner Elon Musk, Twitter also quit paying rent on its San Francisco headquarters in December, according to a lawsuit filed by the landlord.

The social media company failed to pay the $3.36 million December rent for its offices at 1355 Market Street and the $3.42 million for January rent, Sri Nine Market Square LLC, the owner of the building, said in a lawsuit filed Monday in state court in California.

Since taking over Twitter, the billionaire has been slashing costs. He's fired half the staff, held back rent on the company's other offices around the world and refused to pay some outstanding bills, such as a jet charter. Those measures come as Musk is facing his first payment on the $12.5 billion in debt he took on to acquire Twitter.

The suit also comes with Musk on the witness stand in a securities fraud trial in San Francisco where he is defending his tweet to take Tesla Inc. private. He's set to return Tuesday to finish his testimony.

Twitter rents more than 460,000 square feet of space on eight floors of the San Francisco building, according to the complaint. Sri Nine Market Square held a letter of credit for $3.6 million as security, which Twitter was required to increase to $10 million if there were a transfer in control, which occurred when Musk bought the company in October for $44 billion.

Twitter argued it didn't have to boost the line of credit, according to the complaint.

Sri Nine said it drew upon the existing line of credit to cover the December rent of $3.36 million and a portion of the January rent, leaving the balance of the line of credit at $1.

Sri Nine is seeking to recover the unpaid rent and a court declaration that Twitter is in breach of the lease for failing to increase the line of credit to $10 million.

Twitter, which has disbanded its public relations department, didn't respond to a request for comment.


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