Twitter sued by SF headquarters owner after allegedly $6.8 million in missed rent payments

The owner of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters sued the social media company on Friday after it allegedly failed to pay nearly $6.8 million in rent in December and January.

SRI Nine Market Square LLC alleges that Twitter failed to pay rent after it received a demand letter in December and breached its lease in an action filed in San Francisco Superior Court. Landlord said he drew most of Twitter’s $3.6 million letter of credit security deposit to satisfy December’s rent payment, but Twitter still owes $3.1 million unpaid rent from January.

The owner is also seeking to increase Twitter’s line of credit to $10 million, based on a clause in its lease triggered by the transfer of control of the business, but said Twitter has refused to do so. Elon Musk bought the company in late October for $44 billion.

Plaintiff is a subsidiary of owner Shorenstein and JPMorgan Chase funds which own 1355 Market St., where Twitter leases 462,855 square feet of office space.

Several landlords are now suing Twitter for alleged non-payment of rent, including the landlord of 650 California St. in San Francisco, who claims Twitter owed $136,260 in back rent last month. The Crown Estate, which manages the estate of King Charles III of the United Kingdom, also sued Twitter over alleged unpaid rent at a London office, the Telegraph reported on Monday. And Twitter was sued by its landlord over alleged unpaid rent after leaving its Seattle office.

The New York Times reported last month that Twitter had stopped paying rent for all of its offices in a bid to renegotiate leases and cut costs.

Twitter, which laid off its communications team, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Shorenstein declined to comment. The San Francisco Business Times first reported the lawsuit.

Separately, San Francisco officials continue to investigate whether Twitter illegally converted offices into housing. In an update released Monday, a building inspector has contacted a contractor to renew a leasehold improvements permit at the building and is looking to do another in-person tour of the space. An inspector had already found beds in two rooms last month.

Roland Li is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: Twitter: @rolandlisf

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