Lawsuit alleges Twitter failed to pay rent for Seattle office

The owner of Century Square is suing Twitter over the tech giant’s departure from the downtown Seattle office building and alleges failure to pay rent in December and January. 

A complaint filed in King County Superior Court Thursday alleges Twitter “defaulted by failing to pay the rent owed under the lease for December 2022 and January 2023, and by indicating it would not be paying any rent moving forward.” 

Twitter has vacated the building, according to the complaint. Its lease had been in place since August 2013 and the space fit about 200 people.

The filing does not name a dollar amount Twitter owes, but alleges damages “in an amount owed under the lease for past and future rent” as well as other charges. The complaint seeks damages, attorneys fees and interest. 

Twitter, which laid off its communications department, did not immediately respond to a request for comment submitted via its website Thursday evening. The attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of the building’s owners, Pike Street Investors, and a leasing agent for Century Square did not immediately return requests for comment. 

As Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, set about slashing costs at the company late last year, The New York Times and the tech news publication Platformer reported that Twitter planned to close its downtown Seattle office and faced eviction there. 

After the company laid off 208 Washington workers in November and left the office, remaining Seattle employees were reportedly told to work from home. Besides rent, Twitter had also stopped paying for janitorial services at the office.

Last month, on a live forum on Twitter, Musk said the company was on track to have a “negative cash flow situation” of $3 billion in 2022 because of a lack of advertising revenue and increased costs, such as debt payments. The date for the next debt payment, worth $300 million, is next week.

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