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British monarchy goes after Twitter, alleges rent not paid for UK base

One appears to not have been remunerated, Crown Estate tells High Court

More landlords are piling on Elon Musk's Twitter alleging unpaid rent – including, funnily enough, the British monarchy.

According to High Court lists seen by The Telegraph, the Crown Estate, which administers the monarchy's property portfolio, some of the priciest digs in Britain, has filed a claim against Twitter Inc and its UK subsidiary.

The dispute centers on the lease of Twitter's London headquarters in Air Street, Piccadilly Circus, where all branding has been removed despite the company continuing to maintain a presence at the site, according to building staff.

To give you an idea of the costs involved in renting such prime real estate, Twitter signed a lease for the third floor in 2021 at £2.6 million ($3.2 million) a year, yet the Crown Estate's claim is understood to address alleged arrears for the first floor of the same building.

The Crown Estate told The Register it has issued court proceedings to Twitter for the rental arrears on its office space at 20 Air Street, London, following previous contact about the situation and is currently in discussions with the company.

Charles, third of his name, King of the Angles and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, is far from the only entity accusing Twitter of stiffing them for millions. Over the pond, SRI Nine Market Square LLC has sued the company claiming unpaid rent for its San Francisco headquarters to the tune of $3.16 million plus damages.

As we all got back to work after the holiday period, Columbia Property Trust claimed in a lawsuit that Twitter owes almost $140,000 for the 30th floor of another SF office, 650 California Street, where The Reg also has a holdout.

In Singapore, staff were reportedly asked to leave Twitter's APAC HQ and work from home due to non-payment of rent, though the building's owner insists Twitter continues to be a tenant.

And it's not just landlords raising grievances. Yesterday The Register reported that consultancy Charles River Associates has sued the company over an alleged unpaid bill topping $2 million.

Charles River Associates was hired by Twitter's former management to help make Musk acquire the company for the initial $44 billion he offered, a deal he tried to wriggle out of that was subsequently forced through by court.

There's also the private jet company chasing an alleged $197,725 bill for charter flights made in the week of Musk's October takeover.

As the SpaceX and Tesla mogul took the reins at Twitter, he claimed that the social media platform was losing $4 million a day. He took action by laying off great chunks of the 7,400 employed in October, and his "extremely hardcore" management style sparked an exodus among top brass and coalface workers alike. There are now little more than 2,000 people on the books.

If any more evidence is needed of how desperate the situation is, Twitter last week arranged an auction of 631 "surplus corporate assets" including a neon bird logo, 107 boxes of N95 masks, a Yamaha digital mixing console, 68 eight-port Belkin power strips still in the box, a Kegerator Beer Dispenser, 102 chairs, 97 tables, and 42 stools among other ephemera.

And yet the website continues to function. Twitter has been asked to comment but we doubt anyone even has the press email login these days. ®

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