Twitter not paying rent since Elon Musk took over, new lawsuit alleges

Landlord Columbia Property Trust said the unpaid rent at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters totals more than $130,000. 

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, US, June 13, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE/FILE PHOTO)
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, US, June 13, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE/FILE PHOTO)

Twitter has not paid rent on its California headquarters in San Francisco since billionaire Elon Musk took over the company in October, according to a new lawsuit filed last Thursday.

Musk has found himself in hot water since his takeover of the social media platform, as the company’s cost-cutting and downsizing under his watch have left thousands laid off and contractors unpaid. Landlord Columbia Property Trust said the unpaid rent totals $136,260. 

Musk has credited a massive drop in revenue as the reason for the cost-cutting measures and mass layoffs. After initially attempting to terminate the agreed $44 billion buyout in July, the purchase was finalized in October. 

Twitter under Elon Musk

 An image of Elon Musk is seen on a smartphone placed on printed Twitter logos in this picture illustration taken April 28, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO) An image of Elon Musk is seen on a smartphone placed on printed Twitter logos in this picture illustration taken April 28, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

Aside from the mass layoffs and downsizing, Musk has created a stir for his handling of Twitter’s content moderation policy – and for sometimes echoing conspiracy theories and hateful rhetoric that previous Twitter owners worked to dismantle.  

Musk has repeated unfounded claims that Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul knew who his attacker was in November and has had Twitter spats with the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among other prominent figures.

Amid an exodus of prominent Twitter accounts from the platform since Musk took ownership, such as CBS News, Musk oversaw a series of controversies regarding his implementation of new policies – namely Twitter Blue, which was meant to be a premium version of the platform but has since been shelved indefinitely.

In December, Musk decided to eventually step down as Twitter CEO as soon as he names a replacement via a Twitter poll. More than half (57.5%) of the roughly 17.5 million respondents voted "yes" in the poll, though he added that he will undergo an extensive search for a new CEO because – in his own words – "no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive."