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The Crown Estate Sues Twitter Over Unpaid Rent At London Offices

Twitter, which has its headquarters in San Francisco, faces claims it has not paid rent in California and London.

The Crown Estate is suing Twitter in the UK High Court, alleging that the social media giant has failed to pay rent on its London headquarters.

Court lists showed the Crown Estate case against Twitter was filed at the High Court in London last week.

The alleged arrears relate to office space near Piccadilly Circus in central London, the BBC reported.

A Crown Estate spokesman said that court proceedings had been issued in the dispute over Twitter’s UK headquarters in the West End.

In a statement reported by Reuters, the Crown Estate confirmed that the action related to “rental arrears” on the social media platform’s office space in the British capital.

The Crown Estate is the hereditary property estate of the UK Crown — not to be confused with the property of the monarch himself as an individual. Revenues go to the government, which then pays a sovereign grant to the royal family. You can listen to a Bisnow podcast on royal finance here.

The London dispute relates to Twitter’s suite at 20 Air Street, near Piccadilly Circus. Although Twitter occupies space on several floors, the dispute relates to the first floor. The Crown Estate took legal action after previously contacting Twitter about rental arrears over the space.

The block was redeveloped by the Crown Estate in 2011. As recently as 2020 Twitter increased its floorspace at the building by one-third, taking its total there to 83K SF.

Twitter did not immediately respond to the BBC for a request for comment.

Twitter is also being sued by its landlord after it allegedly failed to pay rent at one of its San Francisco offices.

It owes approximately $136,260 in unpaid rent at 650 California St., Columbia Property Trust alleged in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court on 29 December 2022.

Columbia Property served Twitter with a notice of default on 16 December, giving the company five days to pay up, but it failed to do so, according to the suit. The letter was delivered three days after The New York Times reported the company would stop paying rent on office space.

Twitter laid off half its workforce after it was taken over by billionaire Elon Musk last October and the job cuts, followed by a wave of resignations, have resulted in the departure of around 5,000 staff over the past three months.

Twitter now employs around 2,300 people, according to Musk, down from 7,400 at the end of October.