Twitter sued by landlord for allegedly failing to pay rent

Johnnie Pratt



CNN
 — 

A business landlord is suing Twitter for breach of agreement just after the company allegedly failed to fork out rent for a person of its offices in San Francisco.

The lawsuit worries Twitter’s office space at 650 California Street, not its major headquarters on Marketplace Road. But it comes immediately after media stories very last thirty day period claimed Twitter’s new operator, Elon Musk, had stopped paying out rent on Twitter’s business house globally — like for its headquarters — and had instructed employees not to pay out business vendors, in an evident work to slash prices. Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion, together with a substantial sum of financial debt financing.

In accordance to a copy of the complaint filed past 7 days in California Excellent Court in San Francisco, Twitter skipped a rent payment of $136,260 for its 650 California Road office. That triggered a detect from the landlord on Dec. 16, supplying Twitter five more business enterprise days to make the payment or danger falling into default.

The grievance by Columbia REIT – 650 California, LLC asks the courtroom to force Twitter to pay back the unpaid lease in addition fascination, as nicely as the landlord’s attorneys charges. A spokesperson for Columbia REIT, also recognized as Columbia Assets Believe in, declined to remark. Twitter, whose communications team was slashed by Musk soon after he took ownership of the organization, didn’t quickly answer to a ask for for remark.

Columbia oversees extra than a dozen office environment qualities throughout Boston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC, according to its web-site.

Daniel Bornstein, a serious estate legal professional in San Francisco who represents property homeowners in tenant-landlord disputes, said the complaint could be among the initial of numerous to fall if Musk foregoes payment on some of Twitter’s fiscal obligations.

But because of to Musk’s status as just one of the world’s wealthiest men and women, he claimed, workplace place owners will be loath to push him far too hard. Musk’s deep pockets make Twitter a beneficial renter, at the very least when it pays, or when it is pressured to spend. But landlords who overplay their hands chance driving Musk to abandon the rented areas altogether, ensuing in a high priced prolonged emptiness for the qualities, an even even worse result for the landlords than possessing to chase the payments in courtroom.

In very last week’s complaint, Columbia could have asked the courtroom to evict Twitter, Bornstein explained, but it selected not to, suggesting the landlord nevertheless values Twitter as a tenant.

“What Elon may possibly be executing by not having to pay the rent is signaling that he is actually intrigued in renegotiation of the conditions of the lease settlement,” Bornstein stated. (The New York Moments noted last month Musk is hoping to renegotiate or opt out of some of its place of work rental agreements.)

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the College of Richmond, said the lawsuit is a normal consequence of Musk’s refusal to pay.

“The litigation is a regular and anticipated action to occur when a tenant has a lease and does not pay lease required by a legitimate agreement with the landlord,” Tobias explained. “These kinds of disputes frequently settle with no provoking litigation, so as to steer clear of litigation charges and poor publicity.”

It would be predicted, he included, for a landlord to look for lawyers service fees on best of the unpaid lease when the landlord has exhausted other attempts to seek payment.

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