Twitter sued for not paying rent at San Francisco HQ


Photo of Alex Shultz

Twitter headquarters is seen in San Francisco on Nov. 18, 2022. 

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Twitter was sued for millions of dollars over allegations of unpaid rent at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday, Jan. 20.

The suit is the culmination of monthslong rumors that under new CEO Elon Musk, Twitter hasn’t been paying rent on its headquarters at 1355 Market St. Those rumors were originally reported by the New York Times. In the interim, two other unrelated lawsuits have been filed against Twitter for nonpayments. Additional stories have emerged that Twitter isn’t paying for janitorial services at its headquarters and that certain rooms in the headquarters have been equipped with beds, the latter of which led to a still-open investigation by San Francisco’s Planning Department and Department of Building Inspection.

Shorenstein, the real estate investment company that originally acquired the building at 1355 Market St. in 2011, alleged in the suit that Twitter owes $3.162 million in unpaid rent for Jan. 2023 — plus interest and late fees. The suit alleged that Twitter didn’t pay rent in Dec. 2022 either; Shorenstein was able to obtain the December rent amount from Twitter’s $3.6 million letter of credit, which functionally served as a security deposit. The real estate company then took roughly $265,000 from the remaining letter of credit to cover a chunk of the January rent. That letter of credit balance has now been drawn down to $1, according to the lawsuit.

Shorenstein said in the suit that as a result of the Musk buyout last October, Twitter’s letter of credit was supposed to increase well beyond $3.6 million — by a sum of $10 million, in fact. But Shorenstein alleged that Twitter has refused to replenish the amount withdrawn from its letter of credit to cover rent owed, and has also refused to bump up its letter of credit by $10 million.

Via a representative, Shorenstein declined to comment on the lawsuit. Twitter’s communications department was eliminated after Musk became CEO.