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Twitter is chasing unpaid rent at King Charles’ crown estate

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LONDON – The Crown Estate, The manager of the British monarchy’s vast property portfolio has launched legal proceedings against Twitter over unpaid rent for the social media giant’s office in central London’s West End, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The property declined to say how much rent is allegedly owed, but said in a statement that it filed the lawsuit after contacting Twitter. The two companies are currently in discussions, the statement said.

King Charles III, when he became monarch, inherited a large number of UK royal properties, which are managed by the Crown Estate. These include residences, luxury office space in central London, offshore wind farms and an address publicly listed as Twitter’s UK headquarters.

The real estate collection, worth $19.2 billion, belongs to the monarch throughout her reign, but is not her private property. It generated $385 million in revenue last year.

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The Crown Estate’s rent arrears claim against Twitter was listed at the High Court in London last week, Reuters reported.

Public filings do not show Twitter’s financial records for the past year. They had to be submitted for public registration in the UK by 31 December. Late submissions may result in automatic penalties.

Twitter, which has laid off most of its communications staff, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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London insists that mirrors communicate that US and other international Twitter offices stopped the rent payment. In California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that the landlord of the firm’s San Francisco headquarters is suing it for allegedly failing to pay $6.8 million in rent in December and January.

In Singapore, Bloomberg News reported that employees were ordered to vacate Twitter’s Asia-Pacific headquarters this month and work from home.

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Twitter has been rocked since Elon Musk bought the company in October for $44 billion and implemented a whirlwind of changes. “Let the good times roll” he tweeted when the blockbuster deal was announced.

After his purchase, Musk cut half of Twitter’s 7,500-strong staff and welcomed the return of thousands of banned accounts, including those previously suspended for promoting hate or violence. Many advertisers were driven away, further widening the company’s financial hole, according to a Washington Post analysis of marketing data.

In a recent Twitter audio chat, Musk cited the company’s shaky finances as the reason for his aggressive job cuts and drastic actions, adding that “we have an emergency fire drill on our hands.”

Earlier this month, Twitter auctioned off 631 “surplus corporate office assets” from its San Francisco offices, including a leather sling lounge chair, an espresso machine and a neon blue sign with the Twitter bird logo.

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The tech billionaire’s personal fortune has also plummeted since the Twitter takeover. This month, he was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for suffering the “worst loss of wealth in history,” losing nearly $200 billion in net worth in one year.

Hamza Shaban, Faiz Siddiqui and Adela Suliman contributed to this report.