SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from _______ to _______
Commission File Number: 001-36013 (American Homes 4 Rent)
Commission File Number: 333-221878-02 (American Homes 4 Rent, L.P.)
AMERICAN HOMES 4 RENT
AMERICAN HOMES 4 RENT, L.P.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|American Homes 4 Rent||Maryland||46-1229660|
|American Homes 4 Rent, L.P.||Delaware||80-0860173|
|(State or other jurisdiction of|
incorporation or organization)
23975 Park Sorrento, Suite 300
Calabasas, California 91302
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading symbols||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Class A common shares of beneficial interest, $.01 par value||AMH||New York Stock Exchange|
|Series D perpetual preferred shares of beneficial interest, $.01 par value||AMH-D||New York Stock Exchange|
|Series E perpetual preferred shares of beneficial interest, $.01 par value||AMH-E||New York Stock Exchange|
|Series F perpetual preferred shares of beneficial interest, $.01 par value||AMH-F||New York Stock Exchange|
|Series G perpetual preferred shares of beneficial interest, $.01 par value||AMH-G||New York Stock Exchange|
|Series H perpetual preferred shares of beneficial interest, $.01 par value||AMH-H||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
American Homes 4 Rent Yes ý No ☐ American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. Yes ý No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.
American Homes 4 Rent Yes ☐ No ý American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. Yes ☐ No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
American Homes 4 Rent Yes ý No ☐ American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. Yes ý No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
American Homes 4 Rent Yes ý No ☐ American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. Yes ý No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|American Homes 4 Rent|
|Large accelerated filer||ý||Accelerated filer||☐|
|Non-accelerated filer||☐||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
|American Homes 4 Rent, L.P.|
|Large accelerated filer||☐||Accelerated filer||☐|
|Non-accelerated filer||ý||Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
American Homes 4 Rent ☐ American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
American Homes 4 Rent Yes ☒ No ☐ American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. Yes ☐ No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
American Homes 4 Rent Yes ☐ No ý American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. Yes ☐ No ý
The aggregate market value of American Homes 4 Rent’s Class A common shares held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $6.9 billion based on the closing price for such shares on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2020. There is no public trading market for the common units of limited partnership interest of American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. As a result, the aggregate market value of the common units of limited partnership interest held by non-affiliates of American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. cannot be determined.
There were 316,118,533 shares of American Homes 4 Rent’s Class A common shares, $0.01 par value per share, and 635,075 shares of American Homes 4 Rent’s Class B common shares, $0.01 par value per share, outstanding on February 24, 2021.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the Definitive Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report. We expect to file our proxy statement within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
This report combines the annual reports on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 of American Homes 4 Rent and American Homes 4 Rent, L.P. Unless stated otherwise or the context otherwise requires, references to “AH4R” or the “General Partner” mean American Homes 4 Rent, a Maryland real estate investment trust (“REIT”), and references to the “Operating Partnership” or the “OP” mean American Homes 4 Rent, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, and its subsidiaries taken as a whole. References to the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” mean collectively AH4R, the Operating Partnership and those entities/subsidiaries owned or controlled by AH4R and/or the Operating Partnership.
AH4R is the general partner of, and as of December 31, 2020 owned approximately 85.9% of the common partnership interest in, the Operating Partnership. The remaining 14.1% of the common partnership interest was owned by limited partners. As the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership, AH4R has exclusive control of the Operating Partnership’s day-to-day management. The Company’s management operates AH4R and the Operating Partnership as one business, and the management of AH4R consists of the same members as the management of the Operating Partnership.
The Company believes that combining the annual reports on Form 10-K of the Company and the Operating Partnership into this single report provides the following benefits:
•enhances investors’ understanding of the Company and the Operating Partnership by enabling investors to view the business as a whole in the same manner as management views and operates the business;
•eliminates duplicative disclosure and provides a more streamlined and readable presentation since a substantial portion of the disclosure applies to both the Company and the Operating Partnership; and
•creates time and cost efficiencies through the preparation of one combined report instead of two separate reports.
The Company believes it is important to understand the few differences between AH4R and the Operating Partnership in the context of how AH4R and the Operating Partnership operate as a consolidated company. AH4R’s primary function is acting as the general partner of the Operating Partnership. The only material asset of AH4R is its partnership interest in the Operating Partnership. As a result, AH4R generally does not conduct business itself, other than acting as the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership, issuing equity from time to time and guaranteeing certain debt of the Operating Partnership. AH4R itself is not directly obligated under any indebtedness, but guarantees some of the debt of the Operating Partnership. The Operating Partnership owns substantially all of the assets of the Company, including the Company’s ownership interests in its joint ventures, either directly or through its subsidiaries, conducts the operations of the Company’s business and is structured as a limited partnership with no publicly traded equity. One difference between the Company and the Operating Partnership is $25.7 million of asset-backed securitization certificates issued by the Operating Partnership and purchased by AH4R. The asset-backed securitization certificates are recorded as an asset-backed securitization certificates receivable by the Company and as an amount due from affiliates by the Operating Partnership. AH4R contributes all net proceeds from its various equity offerings to the Operating Partnership. In return for those contributions, AH4R receives Operating Partnership units (“OP units”) equal to the number of shares it has issued in the equity offering. Based on the terms of the Agreement of Limited Partnership of the Operating Partnership, as amended, OP units can be exchanged for shares on a one-for-one basis. Except for net proceeds from equity issuances by AH4R, the Operating Partnership generates the capital required by the Company’s business through the Operating Partnership’s operations, by the Operating Partnership’s incurrence of indebtedness or through the issuance of OP units.
Shareholders’ equity, partners’ capital and noncontrolling interests are the main areas of difference between the consolidated financial statements of the Company and those of the Operating Partnership. The limited partnership interests in the Operating Partnership are accounted for as partners’ capital in the Operating Partnership’s financial statements and as noncontrolling interests in the Company’s financial statements. The noncontrolling interests in the Operating Partnership’s financial statements include an outside ownership interest in a consolidated subsidiary of the Company, which was liquidated during the second quarter of 2018. The noncontrolling interests in the Company’s financial statements include the same noncontrolling interests at the Operating Partnership level, as well as the limited partnership interests in the Operating Partnership. The differences between shareholders’ equity and partners’ capital result from differences in the equity and capital issued at the Company and Operating Partnership levels.
To help investors understand the differences between the Company and the Operating Partnership, this report provides
separate consolidated financial statements for the Company and the Operating Partnership; a single set of consolidated notes to such financial statements that includes separate discussions of each entity’s debt, noncontrolling interests and shareholders’ equity or partners’ capital, as applicable; and a combined Part II, “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section that includes discrete information related to each entity.
This report also includes separate Part II, “Item 9A. Controls and Procedures” sections and separate Exhibits 31 and 32 certifications for each of the Company and the Operating Partnership in order to establish that the requisite certifications have been made and that the Company and the Operating Partnership are compliant with Rule 13a-15 or Rule 15d-15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and 18 U.S.C. §1350.
In order to highlight the differences between the Company and the Operating Partnership, the separate sections in this report for the Company and the Operating Partnership specifically refer to the Company and the Operating Partnership. In the sections that combine disclosure of the Company and the Operating Partnership, this report refers to actions or holdings as being actions or holdings of the Company. Although the Operating Partnership is generally the entity that directly or indirectly enters into contracts and joint ventures and holds assets and debt, reference to the Company is appropriate because the Company is one business and the Company operates that business through the Operating Partnership. The separate discussions of the Company and the Operating Partnership in this report should be read in conjunction with each other to understand the results of the Company on a consolidated basis and how management operates the Company.
AMERICAN HOMES 4 RENT
AMERICAN HOMES 4 RENT, L.P.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Various statements contained in this document, including those that express a belief, expectation or intention, as well as those that are not statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may include projections and estimates concerning the timing and success of specific projects and our future operations, revenues, income and capital spending. Our forward-looking statements are generally accompanied by words such as “estimate,” “project,” “predict,” “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “potential,” “plan,” “goal” or other words that convey the uncertainty of future events or outcomes. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and assumptions about future events. While our management considers these expectations and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, regulatory and other risks, contingencies and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.
Currently, one of the most significant factors that could cause actual outcomes to differ materially from our forward-looking statements is the adverse effect of the current pandemic of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) on the financial condition, operating results and cash flows of the Company, our tenants, the real estate market, the global economy and the financial markets. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact us and our tenants will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the scope, severity and duration of the pandemic, including resurgences, impact of government regulations, the speed and effectiveness of vaccine distribution and the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic and containment measures, among others.
These and other important factors, including those discussed under Part I, “Item 1. Business,” Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” Part II, “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this document may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.
While forward-looking statements reflect our good faith beliefs, assumptions and expectations, they are not guarantees of future performance, and you should not unduly rely on them. The forward-looking statements in this document speak only as of the date of this document. We are not obligated to update or revise these statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable law.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
American Homes 4 Rent (“AH4R”) is an internally managed Maryland real estate investment trust (“REIT”) formed on October 19, 2012. American Homes 4 Rent, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership formed on October 22, 2012, and its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively, the “Operating Partnership,” our “operating partnership” or the “OP”) is the entity through which the Company conducts substantially all of our business and owns, directly or through subsidiaries, substantially all of our assets. References to the “Company,” “we,” “our,” and “us” mean collectively, AH4R, the Operating Partnership and those entities/subsidiaries owned or controlled by AH4R and/or the Operating Partnership. We are focused on acquiring, developing, renovating, leasing and operating single-family homes as rental properties. We commenced operations in November 2012.
AH4R is the general partner of, and as of December 31, 2020 owned approximately 85.9% of the common partnership interest in, the Operating Partnership. The remaining 14.1% of the common partnership interest was owned by limited partners. As the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership, AH4R has exclusive control of the Operating Partnership’s day-to-day management. The Company’s management operates AH4R and the Operating Partnership as one business, and the management of AH4R consists of the same members as the management of the Operating Partnership. AH4R’s primary function is acting as the general partner of the Operating Partnership. The only material asset of AH4R is its partnership interest in the Operating Partnership. As a result, AH4R generally does not conduct business itself, other than acting as the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership, issuing equity from time to time and guaranteeing certain debt of the Operating Partnership. AH4R itself is not directly obligated under any indebtedness, but guarantees some of the debt of the Operating Partnership. The Operating Partnership owns substantially all of the assets of the Company, including the Company’s ownership interests in its joint ventures, either directly or through its subsidiaries, conducts the operations of the Company’s business and is structured as a limited partnership with no publicly traded equity. One difference between the Company and the Operating Partnership is $25.7 million of asset-backed securitization certificates issued by the Operating Partnership and purchased by AH4R. The asset-backed securitization certificates are recorded as an asset-backed securitization certificates receivable by the Company and as an amount due from affiliates by the Operating Partnership. AH4R contributes all net proceeds from its various equity offerings to the Operating Partnership. In return for those contributions, AH4R receives Operating Partnership units (“OP units”) equal to the number of shares it has issued in the equity offering. Based on the terms of the Agreement of Limited Partnership of the Operating Partnership, as amended, OP units can be exchanged for shares on a one-for-one basis. Except for net proceeds from equity issuances by AH4R, the Operating Partnership generates the capital required by the Company’s business through the Operating Partnership’s operations, by the Operating Partnership’s incurrence of indebtedness or through the issuance of OP units.
As of December 31, 2020, the Company held 53,584 single-family properties in selected sub-markets of metropolitan statistical areas (“MSAs”) within 22 states, including 711 properties classified as held for sale, and 51,271, or 97.0%, of our total properties (excluding properties held for sale) were occupied. We have an integrated operating platform that consists of 1,447 personnel dedicated to property management, acquisitions, development, marketing, leasing, financial and administrative functions.
We believe we have become a leader in the single-family home rental industry by aggregating a geographically diversified portfolio of high-quality single-family homes and developing “American Homes 4 Rent” into a nationally recognized brand that is well-known for quality, value and tenant satisfaction and is well respected in our communities. Our investments may be made directly or through investment vehicles with third-party investors. We began adding newly constructed “built-for-rental” single-family properties to our portfolio in 2017 through our internal “AMH Development Program” and through acquisitions from third-party developers via our “National Builder Program.” Our objective is to generate attractive, risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders through dividends and capital appreciation.
We believe that we have been organized and operate in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under U.S. federal income tax laws for each of our taxable years commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2012, through the current taxable year ended December 31, 2020. We expect to satisfy the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws for our taxable year ending December 31, 2021, and subsequent taxable years.
We believe that the Operating Partnership is properly treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. As a partnership, the Operating Partnership is not subject to U.S. federal income tax on our income. Instead, each of the Operating Partnership’s partners, including AH4R, is allocated, and may be required to pay tax with respect to, its share of the Operating Partnership’s income. As such, no provision for U.S. federal income taxes has been included for the Operating Partnership.
Our principal executive office is located at 23975 Park Sorrento, Suite 300, Calabasas, California 91302. Our main telephone number is (805) 413-5300. Our website address is www.americanhomes4rent.com. The information contained on our website is not part of or incorporated by reference in this report.
Our Business and Growth Strategies
Our primary objective is to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for our shareholders through dividends and capital appreciation by acquiring, developing, renovating, leasing and operating single-family homes as rental properties. We believe we can achieve this objective by pursuing the following strategies:
•Maintain early-mover advantage and position us as a dominant owner/operator of single-family rental properties. Historically, the single-family home rental market has been extremely fragmented, comprised primarily of private and individual property investors in local markets. Until recently, there have been no large-scale, national market owners/operators primarily due to the challenge of efficiently scaling the development/acquisition and management of many individual homes. With opportunities to cost-effectively develop homes and to continue acquiring homes at attractive prices, we intend to continue to leverage our expertise and experience in rapidly building an institutional-quality, professionally-managed business. We believe that being one of the first in our industry to do so on a large scale has provided us the “early-mover” advantage to continue aggregating a large, geographically diversified portfolio of high-quality properties at prices that provide attractive potential yields and capital appreciation.
•Employ a disciplined property acquisition process. We have an established acquisition and renovation platform to source properties through a variety of traditional acquisition channels, including broker sales (primarily multiple listing service (“MLS”)) and bulk portfolio sales. We focus on homes with a number of key property characteristics, including: (i) construction after the year 2000; (ii) three or more bedrooms; (iii) two or more bathrooms; (iv) a range of $200,000 estimated minimum valuation to $450,000 maximum bid price; and (v) estimated renovation costs not in excess of 25% of estimated value. Our target areas have above average median household incomes, well-regarded school districts and access to desirable lifestyle amenities. We believe that homes in these areas will attract tenants with strong credit profiles, produce high occupancy and rental rates and generate long-term property appreciation. Not all of the homes we acquire through traditional channels meet all of these criteria, especially if acquired as part of a bulk purchase. In addition to our traditional MLS acquisition channel, we continue to acquire newly constructed homes from third-party developers through our National Builder Program.
•Expand our one-of-a-kind internal development program. We are increasingly focused on developing “built-for-rental” homes through our internal AMH Development Program, which we believe represents the best investment on a risk-adjusted return basis. Our “built-for-rental” homes will leverage our existing property management platform and are built with the long-term renter in mind, including maintenance resilient features, as well as floor plans, finishes and other features known to be desirable to our residents. Our experienced land acquisition team and our proprietary data analytics enables us to strategically identify ideal land opportunities that are within our existing footprint in our high-growth markets. Our inventory of land holdings and future acquisitions will allow us to sustain our projected stabilized level of development over the next several years.
•Maintain a geographically diversified portfolio. We monitor and manage the diversification of our portfolio in order to reduce the risks associated with adverse developments affecting a particular market. We currently are focusing on developing and acquiring single-family homes in selected sub-markets of MSAs, with an emphasis on achieving critical mass within each target market. We continually evaluate potential new markets where we may invest and establish operations as opportunities emerge. We select our markets based on steady population growth and strong rental demand, providing for attractive potential yields and capital appreciation. In addition, if we are unable to gain desired critical mass within a market to operate efficiently, then we may pursue ways to exit those markets in a manner designed to maximize shareholder value.
•Efficiently manage and operate properties. We believe we have created a leading, comprehensive single-family home property management business and that the key to efficiently managing a large number of relatively low-cost properties is to strike the appropriate balance between centralization and decentralization. We believe that in-house property management enables us to optimize rental revenues, effectively manage expenses, realize significant economies of scale, standardize brand consistency and maintain direct contact with our tenants. Our property management platform has local leasing agents and property managers who provide customer service to our tenants. Corporate-level functions are centralized, including management, accounting, legal, marketing and call centers to handle leasing and maintenance calls. These centralized services allow us to provide all markets with the benefits of these functions without the burden of staffing each function in every market. In addition, by having a national property management operation, we have the
ability to negotiate favorable terms on services and products with many of our contractors and vendors, including national contractors and vendors. Our property management functions are 100% internalized, which we believe provides us with consistency of service, control and branding in the operation of our properties.
•Establish a nationally recognized brand. We continue to strive toward establishing “American Homes 4 Rent” as a nationally recognized brand because we believe that establishing a brand well-known for quality, value and tenant satisfaction will help attract and retain tenants and qualified personnel, as well as support higher rental rates. We believe that creating brand awareness will facilitate the growth and success of our company. We have established a toll-free number serviced by our call center and a website to provide a direct portal to reach potential tenants and to drive our brand presence. We believe our brand has gained recognition within a number of our markets.
•Optimize capital structure. We may use leverage to increase potential returns to our shareholders, but we will seek to maintain a conservative and flexible balance sheet. We believe that preferred shares provide an attractive source of permanent capital. We have also obtained capital through the use of unsecured credit facilities, the issuance of unsecured senior notes, and through asset-backed securitization transactions completed during 2014 and 2015. We also participate in investment vehicles with third-party investors as an alternative source of equity to grow our business. Our executive officers have substantial experience organizing and managing investment vehicles with third-party investors.
Our Business Activities
Property Development, Acquisition, Renovation, Leasing and Property Management
•Property Development. We are increasingly focused on developing “built-for-rental” homes through our internal AMH Development Program and acquiring newly constructed homes from third-party developers through our National Builder Program in target markets in selected sub-markets of MSAs. Rental homes developed through our AMH Development Program involve substantial up-front costs, time to acquire and develop land, time to build the rental home, and time to lease the rental home before the home generates income. This process is dependent upon the availability of suitable land assets and the nature of each lot acquired. Rental homes acquired from third-party developers through our National Builder Program are dependent on the inventory of newly constructed homes and homes currently under construction.
For our AMH Development Program, the development timeline varies primarily due to land development requirements. Once land development requirements have been met, on average it takes approximately four to six months to complete the rental home vertical construction process. However, delivery of homes may be staged to account for delays in demand. Our AMH Development Program is managed by our team of development professionals that oversee the full rental home construction process including all land development and work performed by subcontractors. Homes added through our AMH Development Program are available for lease immediately upon or shortly after receipt of a certificate of occupancy. On average, it takes approximately 20 to 40 days to lease a property after its development.
•Property Acquisition. We have a disciplined acquisition platform that is capable of deploying large amounts of capital across all acquisition channels and in multiple markets simultaneously. Our acquisition process begins with an analysis of housing markets. Target markets are selected based on steady population growth and strong rental demand, providing for attractive potential yields and potential capital appreciation. Our target markets currently include selected sub-markets of MSAs. Within our target markets, our system allows us to screen broadly and rapidly for potential acquisitions and is designed to identify highly targeted sub-markets at the neighborhood and street levels.
We have and will continue to source property acquisition opportunities through traditional channels, including broker sales (including traditional MLS sales) and portfolio (or bulk) sales. In particular, we have an extensive network of real estate brokers that facilitate a large volume of acquisitions through broker sales. Our team of dedicated personnel identifies opportunities for homes sold in bulk by institutions or competitors. Acquisitions through these channels generally allow more time for underwriting to determine the expected rents, expenses and renovation costs, obtain title insurance and review local covenant conditions and restrictions.
•Property Renovation. We have a team of dedicated personnel to oversee the renovation process for homes added through traditional acquisition channels. This team focuses on maximizing the benefit of our investment in property renovation. Once a home is acquired, if it is not occupied, we promptly begin the renovation process, during which the property is thoroughly evaluated. Any resulting work is presented for bid to approved contractors, which we maintain in each of our markets. We have negotiated substantial quantity discounts in each of our markets for products that we regularly use during the renovation process, such as paint, window blinds and flooring. By establishing and enforcing best practices and quality consistency, we believe that we are able to reduce the costs of both materials and labor.
We have found that a rapid response to renovating our homes improves our relationship with the local communities and homeowners’ associations (“HOAs”), enhancing the “American Homes 4 Rent” brand recognition and loyalty. In general, property renovations are completed within approximately 20 to 40 days and properties are typically leased approximately 20 to 40 days after completing the renovation process. If a home that is acquired remains occupied, the renovation process may be postponed. However, an assessment is made of potential renovation work that must be addressed once the property can be accessed.
•Property Management. We have developed an extensive in-house property management infrastructure, with modern systems, dedicated personnel and local offices in certain of our markets. In these markets, property managers employed by us execute all property management functions. We directly manage all of our properties without the engagement of a third-party manager.
•Marketing and Leasing. We are responsible for establishing rental rates, marketing and leasing properties (including screening prospective tenants) and collecting and processing rent. We establish rental rates centrally, using data-driven pricing models, supported by analysis from the local property management teams in each market. Factors considered in establishing the rental rates include a competitive analysis of rents, the size and age of the house, and many qualitative factors, such as neighborhood characteristics and access to quality schools, transportation and services. We advertise the available properties through multiple channels, including our website, online marketplaces, MLS, yard signs and local brokers. Substantially all of our homes are shown using technology-driven “self-guided” showings.
Prospective tenants may submit an application through our website or in person. We evaluate prospective tenants in a standardized manner. Our application and evaluation process includes obtaining appropriate identification, a thorough evaluation of credit and household income and a review of the applicant’s rental history. Although we require a minimum household credit score and income to rent ratio, all factors are taken into consideration during the tenant evaluation process, including an emphasis on rental payment history. On average, household credit scores and income to rent ratios of approved applicants are significantly in excess of our minimum requirements. We are generally able to complete our application and evaluation process the same day the prospective tenant submits a complete rental application. We collect the majority of rent electronically via Automated Clearing House transfer or direct debit to the tenant’s checking account via a secure tenant portal on our website. An auto-pay feature is offered to facilitate rent payment. Tenants’ charges and payment history are available to tenants online through the tenant portal. Tenants who do not pay rent by the late payment date (typically within five calendar days of the due date) will receive notification and are assessed a late fee, in jurisdictions where allowable. Eviction is a last resort, and the eviction process is managed in compliance with local and state regulations. The eviction process is documented through a property management system with all correspondence and documentation stored electronically.
•Tenant Relations and Property Maintenance. We also are responsible for most property repairs and maintenance and tenant relations. Our tenants can request maintenance through our online website, our 24/7 emergency line to handle after-hours issues, or through our local property management office or call center. As part of our ongoing property management, we conduct routine repairs and maintenance as appropriate to maximize long-term rental income and cash flows from our portfolio, and are increasingly performing this work using in-house employees as opposed to third-party vendors. In addition, our local teams are involved in periodic visits to our properties to help foster positive, long-term relationships with our tenants, to monitor the condition and use of our homes and to ensure compliance with HOA rules and regulations.
•Systems and Technology. Effective systems and technology are essential components of our process. We have made significant investments in our lease management, accounting and asset management systems. They are designed to be scalable to accommodate continued growth in our portfolio of homes. Our website is fully integrated into the tenant accounting and leasing system. From the website, which is accessible from mobile devices, prospective tenants can browse homes available for rent, request additional information and apply to rent a specific home. Through the tenant portal existing tenants can set up automatic payments. The system is designed to handle the accounting requirements of residential property accounting, including accounting for security deposits and paying property-level expenses. The system obtains credit information from a major credit bureau, which is used to evaluate prospective tenant rental applications.
We maintain property, liability and corporate level insurance coverage related to our business, including crime and fidelity, property management errors and omissions, trustees’ and officers’ errors and omissions, cyber liability, employment practice liability
and workers’ compensation. We believe the policy specifications and insured limits under our insurance program are appropriate and adequate for our business and properties given the relative risk of loss, the cost of the coverage and industry practice. However, our insurance coverage is subject to substantial deductibles and carve-outs, and we will be self-insured up to the amount of such deductibles and carve-outs. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—We are self-insured against many potential losses, and uninsured or underinsured losses relating to properties may adversely affect our financial condition, operating results, cash flows and ability to make distributions” and “Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Real Estate Industry—Environmentally hazardous conditions may adversely affect our financial condition, cash flows and operating results.”
Competition and Trends in Market Demand
We face competition from different sources in each of our two primary activities: developing/acquiring properties and renting our properties. We believe our primary competitors in acquiring our target properties through individual acquisitions are individual investors, small private investment partnerships looking for one-off acquisitions of investment properties that can either be rented or restored and sold, and larger investors, including private equity funds and other REITs, that are seeking to capitalize on the same market opportunity that we have identified. Our primary competitors in acquiring portfolios of properties or land assets include large and small private equity investors, public and private REITs, other sizeable private institutional investors and other homebuilders. These same competitors may also compete with us for tenants. Competition may increase the prices for properties and land that we would like to purchase, reduce the amount of rent we may charge at our properties, reduce the occupancy of our portfolio and adversely impact our ability to achieve attractive yields. However, we believe that our acquisition platform, our extensive in-house property management infrastructure and market knowledge in markets that meet our selection criteria provide us with competitive advantages. Further, we have benefited from increases in long-term demand primarily due to households accelerating decisions to leave city centers and apartments for suburban, detached single-family homes. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work-from-home proliferation has driven further demand as employees have less need to live near city centers and also desire larger living spaces to accommodate working from home.
Our properties are subject to various covenants, laws and ordinances, and certain of our properties are also subject to the rules of the various HOAs where such properties are located. We believe that we are in material compliance with such covenants, laws, ordinances and rules, and we also require that our tenants agree to comply with such covenants, laws, ordinances and rules in their leases with us.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) and its state law counterparts, and the regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and various state agencies, prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race or color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), handicap or, in some states, financial capability. We believe that our properties are in substantial compliance with the FHA and other regulations.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) issued a federal eviction moratorium that temporarily halts residential evictions of qualifying tenants for nonpayment of rent during the period from September 4, 2020 to December 31, 2020. On December 27, 2020, the CDC extended the moratorium through January 31, 2021 and on January 29, 2021, the CDC extended the moratorium through March 31, 2021. We believe that we are in compliance with this moratorium. We expect vigorous debate and discussion in a number of areas, including residential housing, fiscal policy, monetary policy and healthcare, to continue over the next few years. However, we cannot be certain if or when any specific proposal or policy might be announced, emerge from committee or be approved by Congress, and, if so, what the effects on us may be.
As a current or prior owner of real estate, we are subject to various federal, state and local environmental laws, regulations and ordinances, and we could be liable to third parties as a result of environmental contamination or noncompliance at our properties, even if we no longer own such properties. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—Contingent or unknown liabilities could adversely affect our financial condition, cash flows and operating results” and “Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Real Estate Industry—Environmentally hazardous conditions may adversely affect our financial condition, cash flows and operating results.”
AH4R has elected to be taxed as a REIT commencing with our first taxable year ended December 31, 2012. Our qualification as a REIT, and maintenance of such qualification, depends upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, various complex requirements under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), relating to, among other things, the sources of our gross income, the composition and values of our assets, our distributions to our shareholders and the concentration of ownership of our equity shares. We believe that, commencing with our initial taxable year ended December 31, 2012, we have been organized in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.
As a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our REIT taxable income that we currently distribute to our shareholders, but taxable income generated by any of our taxable REIT subsidiaries (our “TRS”) will be subject to U.S. federal, state and local income tax. Under the Code, REITs are subject to numerous organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement that they generally distribute annually at least 90% of their REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and any net capital gains to their shareholders. If AH4R fails to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year and does not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, our income would be subject to U.S. federal income tax, and we would likely be precluded from qualifying for treatment as a REIT until the fifth calendar year following the year in which we fail to qualify. Even if AH4R qualifies as a REIT, we may still be subject to certain U.S. federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets and to U.S. federal income and excise taxes on our undistributed income.
Human Capital Management
As of December 31, 2020, we have 1,447 dedicated personnel. None of our personnel are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Our success depends on our employees providing quality service to our residents. This requires us to attract, retain and grow a skilled and diverse workforce to design and maintain high quality homes. We are committed to creating and maintaining a great place to work with an inclusive culture, competitive benefits, and opportunities for training and growth. Our commitment to human capital development is a focus of not just our senior management, but also our board of trustees. The Human Capital and Compensation Committee of the board of trustees oversees our company’s human capital programs and policies, including with respect to employee retention and development, and regularly meets with senior management to discuss these issues.
We recognize employee engagement as a critical factor to our success. We have developed programs designed to attract and retain our talent, and to identify ways to increase employee engagement and satisfaction across the organization. To help build a positive culture and employee experience, each year we appoint members to our company’s Employee Council. This council, led by members of senior management, provides participants with a unique forum to provide feedback from all levels in the organization. Partnering with a third-party engagement survey company, we also periodically survey all employees to measure and assess employee satisfaction. All feedback is anonymous and aggregated in a secure system for analysis.
Another important part of engagement is compensating our employees competitively and providing an attractive benefits package. All full-time employees are eligible for our benefits package including healthcare insurance, a 401(k) retirement plan, paid time off and our employee wellness programs.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, employee turnover was 26.3%.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We champion inclusion and diversity and embrace Valuing Differences as one of our company’s core philosophies. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 50% of our workforce had participated in our 2 Hour Values Differences Seminar. All employees will have participated in this training by June 2021. Our Human Resources department routinely monitors diversity in all employment decisions, including but not limited to hiring and promotions. The data in the table below reflects our employee diversity as of December 31, 2020. We believe that women and minority representation is enhanced through our ongoing human capital programs.
|Senior leadership of VP or above||30%||30%|
Training and Development
We provide training designed to meet the business and technical skills necessary for our employees to succeed in their roles and to advance their careers in our company. We provide leadership development training to support our managers and executives and to complement our succession planning efforts. We provided approximately 71,900 hours of training to employees, an average of 50 hours per employee, during the year ended December 31, 2020. Meetings with our District and Regional Managers held throughout the year are intentional opportunities to focus on our employee’s leadership and development.
The health and safety of our employees is a top priority. We have implemented company-wide policies that address occupational health and safety concerns, and offer programs that address these topics. We provide annual safety training for all employees and every employee in a safety-sensitive position is required to complete additional relevant training. Our OSHA Recordable Incident Rate for 2020 was 1.56.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we established protocols to keep our residents, employees and third-party contractors safe. Our maintenance team instituted a process to ensure a property was safe to enter, and we also communicated with our employees to ensure they had appropriate personal protective equipment. All field employees were outfitted with safety gloves, masks and sanitizer to ensure there was no cross-contamination between properties.
We believe that our business and related operating results will be impacted by seasonal factors throughout the year. We experience higher levels of tenant move-outs and move-ins during the late spring and summer months, which impacts both our rental revenues and related turnover costs. Further, our property operating costs are seasonally impacted in certain markets for expenses such as HVAC repairs, turn costs and landscaping expenses during the summer season. Additionally, our single-family properties are at greater risk in certain markets for adverse weather conditions such as hurricanes in the late summer months and extreme cold weather in the winter months.
Our website address is www.americanhomes4rent.com. We make available free of charge on or through our website our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the report with or furnish it to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This information is also available in print to any shareholder who requests it, with any such requests addressed to Investor Relations, American Homes 4 Rent, 23975 Park Sorrento, Suite 300, Calabasas, California 91302. We also make available free of charge on our website our Corporate Governance Guidelines, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and the charters of the Audit Committee, Human Capital and Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Company’s board of trustees. We intend to disclose on our website any changes to, or waivers from, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. The information contained on our website shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this or any other report we file with, or furnish to, the SEC. The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Set forth below are the risks that we believe are material to our shareholders. You should consider these risks carefully when evaluating our company and our business. The risks described below may not be the only risks we face. Additional risks of which we are currently unaware or that we currently consider immaterial also may impact our business. Some statements in the following risk factors are forward-looking statements. See the section entitled “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
Risks Related to Our Business
Our company and our business model are relatively new, which may make our business difficult to evaluate.
We commenced operations in 2012, and after our initial public offering in 2013, were among the first public companies to pursue our investment strategy of purchasing, renovating, developing, maintaining and managing a large number of residential properties and leasing them to tenants. The lack of a long-term company and industry track record covering multiple real estate cycles may make it difficult for you to evaluate our potential future performance. In addition, our strategy of developing a significant pipeline of single-family homes for rent is relatively new and unprecedented among public companies which may further complicate
evaluating our potential future performance. We may encounter unanticipated problems implementing our investment strategy and operations, which may adversely affect our results of operations and ability to make distributions to our shareholders and cause our share price to decline significantly.
Our future growth depends, in part, on the availability of additional debt or equity financing. If we cannot obtain additional financing on terms favorable or acceptable to us, our growth may be limited.
The execution of our growth strategy will involve the use of debt and equity financing, particularly given that as a REIT we are required to distribute a significant portion of our taxable income which reduces our ability to retain earnings to fund growth. Our inability in the future to obtain additional financing on attractive terms, or at all, could adversely impact our ability to execute our business strategy, which could adversely affect our growth prospects and future shareholder returns.
Our revenue and expenses are not directly correlated, and because a large percentage of our costs and expenses are fixed, we may not be able to adapt our cost structure to offset declines in our revenue.
Most of the expenses associated with our business, such as acquisition costs, repairs and maintenance costs, real estate taxes, HOA fees, insurance, utilities, personal and ad valorem taxes, employee wages and benefits and other general corporate expenses, are relatively inflexible and will not necessarily decrease with a reduction in revenue from our business. Some components of our fixed assets depreciate more rapidly and will require a significant amount of ongoing capital expenditures. Our expenses and ongoing capital expenditures also will be affected by inflationary increases, and certain of our cost increases may exceed the rate of inflation in any given period. By contrast, our rental income is affected by many factors beyond our control such as the availability of alternative rental housing and economic conditions in our target markets. In addition, state and local regulations may require us to maintain properties that we own, even if the cost of maintenance is greater than the value of the property or any potential benefit from renting the property. As a result, we may not be able to fully offset rising costs and capital spending by raising rental rates, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash available for distribution.
We are dependent on our executive officers and dedicated personnel, and the departure of any of our key personnel could materially and adversely affect us. We also face intense competition for highly skilled managerial, investment, financial and operational personnel.
We rely on a small number of individuals to carry out our business and investment strategies. Any of our senior management may cease to provide services to us at any time. The loss of the services of any of our key management personnel, or our inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel in the future, could have an adverse effect on our business and financial results.
In addition, we will continue to need to attract and retain additional qualified personnel but may not be able to do so on acceptable terms or at all. Competition for highly skilled managerial, investment, financial and operational personnel is intense. As additional large real estate investors have entered the single-family rental and related business, we have faced increased challenges in hiring and retaining personnel, and we cannot assure our shareholders that we will be successful in attracting and retaining such skilled personnel. If we are unable to hire and retain qualified personnel as required, our growth and operating results could be adversely affected.
Our investments are, and are expected to continue to be, concentrated in single-family properties and we have a significant number of properties in certain geographic markets, which exposes us to significant risks if there is economic distress in our largest markets or in the single-family home rental sector.
Our investments are, and are expected to continue to be, concentrated in single-family properties. In addition, our strategy is to concentrate our properties in select geographic markets that we believe favor future growth in rents and valuations. For example, 60.5% of our properties are located in Atlanta, GA, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, Charlotte, NC, Phoenix, AZ, Houston, TX, Nashville, TN, Indianapolis, IN, Tampa, FL, Jacksonville, FL and Raleigh, NC. A downturn or slowdown in the rental demand for single-family housing generally, or in our target markets specifically, caused by adverse economic, regulatory or environmental conditions, or other events, would have a greater impact on our operating results than if we had more diversified investments.
We may not be able to effectively control the timing and costs relating to the renovation of properties, which may adversely affect our operating results and our ability to make distributions.
Nearly all of our properties acquired through traditional channels require some level of renovation immediately upon their acquisition or in the future following expiration of a lease or otherwise. We may acquire properties that we plan to renovate extensively. We also may acquire properties that we expect to be in good condition only to discover unforeseen defects and problems that require extensive renovation and capital expenditures. To the extent properties are leased to existing tenants, renovations may be
postponed until the tenant vacates the premises, and we will pay the costs of renovating. In addition, from time to time, in order to reposition properties in the rental market, we will be required to make ongoing capital improvements and replacements and perform significant renovations and repairs that tenant deposits and insurance may not cover.
Our properties have infrastructure and appliances of varying ages and conditions. Consequently, we routinely retain independent contractors and trade professionals to perform physical repair work and are exposed to all of the risks inherent in property renovation and maintenance, including potential cost overruns, increases in labor and materials costs, delays by contractors in completing work, delays in the timing of receiving necessary work permits, certificates of occupancy and poor workmanship. If our assumptions regarding the costs or timing of renovation and maintenance across our properties prove to be materially inaccurate, our operating results and ability to make distributions to our shareholders may be adversely affected.
We face significant competition for acquisitions of our target properties, which may limit our strategic opportunities and increase the cost to acquire those properties.
We face significant competition for attractive acquisition opportunities in our target markets from other large real estate investors, including developers, some of which may have greater financial resources and a lower cost of capital than we do. We also compete with individual private home buyers and small-scale investors. Several REITs and other funds have deployed, and others may in the future deploy, significant amounts of capital to purchase single-family homes and may have investment objectives that overlap and compete with ours, including in our target markets. This activity has adversely impacted our level of purchases in certain of our target markets. If our business model or a similar model proves to be successful, we can expect competition to intensify significantly. As a result, the purchase price of potential acquisition properties may be significantly elevated, or we may be unable to acquire properties on desirable terms or at all.
We face competition in the leasing market for quality tenants, which may limit our ability to rent our single-family homes on favorable terms or at all.
We depend on rental income for substantially all of our revenues, and to succeed we must attract and retain qualified tenants. We face competition for tenants from other lessors of single-family properties, apartment buildings and condominium units, and the continuing development of single-family properties, apartment buildings and condominium units in many of our markets increases the supply of housing and exacerbates competition for tenants. Competing properties may be newer, better located and more attractive to tenants, or may be offered at more attractive rents. Additionally, some competing housing options, like home ownerships, may qualify for government subsidies or other incentives that may make such options more affordable and therefore more attractive than renting our properties. These competitive factors will impact our occupancy and the rents we can charge.
Our evaluation of acquisition properties involves a number of assumptions that may prove inaccurate, which could result in us paying too much for properties we acquire or our properties failing to perform as we expect.
In determining whether a particular property meets our investment criteria, we make a number of assumptions, including assumptions related to estimated time of possession and estimated renovation costs and time frames, annual operating costs, market rental rates and potential rent amounts, time from purchase to leasing and tenant default rates. These assumptions may prove inaccurate. As a result, we may pay too much for properties we acquire or our properties may fail to perform as anticipated.
Bulk portfolio acquisitions may subject us to the risk of acquiring properties that do not fit our target investment criteria and may be costly or time consuming to divest, which may adversely affect our operating results.
We have occasionally acquired and may continue to acquire properties purchased as portfolios in bulk from other owners of single-family homes. To the extent the management and leasing of such properties has not been consistent with our property management and leasing standards, we may be subject to a variety of risks, including risks relating to the condition of the properties, the credit quality and employment stability of the tenants and compliance with applicable laws, among others. In addition, financial and other information provided to us regarding such portfolios during our due diligence may be inaccurate, and we may not discover such inaccuracies until it is too late to seek remedies against such sellers. To the extent we timely pursue such remedies, we may not be able to successfully prevail against the seller in an action seeking damages for such inaccuracies. If we conclude that certain properties purchased in bulk portfolios do not fit our target investment criteria, we may decide to sell, rather than renovate and rent, these properties, which could take an extended period of time and may not result in a sale at an attractive price. We may also experience delays in integrating the information systems and property and tenant information of the acquired properties which could adversely affect operating results.
Our significant development activities expose us to additional operational and real estate risks, which may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
We have a significant development program that involves the acquisition of land and construction of homes. We have a limited track record of building homes for rent. Rental home construction can involve substantial up-front costs to acquire land and to build a rental home or rental community before a home is available for rent and generates income. In addition to the up-front costs, building rental homes and rental communities involve potentially significant new risks to our business, such as delays or cost increases due to changes in or failure to meet regulatory requirements, including permitting and zoning regulations, failure of lease rentals on newly-constructed properties to achieve anticipated investment returns, inclement weather, adverse site selection, unforeseen site conditions or shortages of suitable land, construction materials and labor and other risks described below. We may be unable to achieve our objective of building new rental homes and rental communities that generate acceptable returns and, as a result, our growth and results of operations may be adversely impacted.
Our success in expanding our development activities depends in large part on our ability to acquire land that is suitable for residential homebuilding and meets our land investment criteria.
There is strong competition among homebuilders for land that is suitable for residential development. The future availability of finished and partially finished developed lots and undeveloped land that meet our internal criteria depends on a number of factors outside our control, including land availability in general, competition with other homebuilders and land buyers for desirable property, inflation in land prices, zoning, allowable housing density, and other regulatory requirements. Should suitable lots or land become less available, the number of homes we could build and lease could be reduced, and the cost of land could increase, perhaps substantially, which could adversely impact our growth and results of operations.
If we experience disruptions, shortages or increased costs of labor and supplies or other circumstances beyond our control, there could be delays or increased costs in constructing new rental homes, which could adversely affect our growth and operating results.
Our ability to build new rental homes may be adversely affected by circumstances beyond our control, including: work stoppages, labor disputes, and shortages of qualified trades people, such as carpenters, roofers, masons, electricians, and plumbers; changes in laws relating to union organizing activity; lack of availability of adequate utility or infrastructure and services; our need to rely on local subcontractors who may not be adequately capitalized or insured or may not, despite our quality control efforts, engage in proper construction practices or comply with applicable regulations; inadequacies in components purchased from building supply companies; and shortages delays in availability, or fluctuations in prices of building materials. Any of these circumstances could give rise to delays in the start or completion of, or could increase the cost of, constructing new rental homes.
We are subject to risks from natural disasters and severe weather.
Natural disasters and severe weather such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or floods may result in significant damage to our properties and significant delays to our development projects. The extent of our casualty losses and loss in rental income in connection with such events depends on the severity of the event and the total amount of exposure in the affected area. We have a concentration of homes in areas susceptible to hurricanes, including Florida and our Southeast markets. When we have geographic concentration of exposures, a single catastrophe (such as an earthquake) or destructive weather event (such as a hurricane) affecting a region may have a significant negative effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We depend on our tenants for substantially all of our revenues. Poor tenant selection and defaults and nonrenewals by our tenants may adversely affect our reputation, financial performance and ability to make distributions.
We depend on rental income from tenants for substantially all of our revenues. As a result, our success depends in large part upon our ability to attract and retain qualified tenants for our properties. Our reputation, financial performance and ability to make distributions to our shareholders would be adversely affected if a significant number of our tenants fail to meet their lease obligations or fail to renew their leases. For example, tenants may default on rent payments, make unreasonable and repeated demands for service or improvements, make unsupported or unjustified complaints to regulatory or political authorities, use our properties for illegal purposes, damage or make unauthorized structural changes to our properties that are not covered by security deposits, refuse to leave the property upon termination of the lease, engage in domestic violence or similar disturbances, disturb nearby residents with noise, trash, odors or eyesores, fail to comply with HOA regulations, sublet to less desirable individuals in violation of our lease or permit unauthorized persons to live with them. Damage to our properties may delay re-leasing after eviction, necessitate expensive repairs or impair the rental income or value of the property resulting in a lower than expected rate of return. Increases in unemployment levels and other adverse changes in the economic conditions in our markets could result in substantial tenant defaults. In the event of a tenant
default or bankruptcy, we may experience delays in enforcing our rights as landlord at that property and will incur costs in protecting our investment and re-leasing the property. In addition, we rely on information supplied by prospective residents in making tenant selections, which may in some cases be false.
Our short-term leases require us to re-lease our properties frequently, which we may be unable to do on attractive terms, on a timely basis or at all.
Substantially all of our new leases have a duration of one year. As these leases permit tenants to leave at the end of the lease term without penalty, we anticipate our rental revenues may be affected by declines in market rents more quickly than if our leases were for longer terms. Short-term leases may result in high turnover, which involves costs such as restoring the properties, marketing costs and lower occupancy levels. Our tenant turnover rate and related cost estimates may be less accurate than if we had more operating data upon which to base such estimates. Moreover, we cannot assure you that our leases will be renewed on equal or better terms or at all. If our tenants do not renew their leases or the rental rates for our properties decrease, our operating results and ability to make distributions to our shareholders could be adversely affected.
We are self-insured against many potential losses, and uninsured or underinsured losses relating to properties may adversely affect our financial condition, operating results, cash flows and ability to make distributions.
We attempt to ensure that our properties are adequately insured to cover casualty losses. However, many of the policies covering casualty losses may be subject to substantial deductibles and carveouts, and we will be self-insured up to the amount of the deductibles and carveouts. There are also some losses, including losses from floods, windstorms, fires, earthquakes, acts of war, acts of terrorism or riots, that may not always be insured against or that are not generally fully insured against because it is not deemed economically feasible or prudent to do so. In addition, changes in the cost or availability of insurance could expose us to uninsured casualty losses.
In the event that any of the properties we acquire incur a casualty loss that is not fully covered by insurance, the value of our assets will be reduced by the amount of any such uninsured loss, and we could experience a significant loss of capital invested and potential revenues in these properties and could potentially remain obligated under any recourse debt associated with the property. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations and other factors might also keep us from using insurance proceeds to replace or renovate a property after it has been damaged or destroyed. Under those circumstances, the insurance proceeds we receive might be inadequate to restore our economic position on the damaged or destroyed property. Any such losses could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results, cash flows and ability to make distributions. In addition, we may have no source of funding to repair or reconstruct the damaged property, and we cannot assure you that any such sources of funding will be available to us for such purposes in the future.
Contingent or unknown liabilities could adversely affect our financial condition, cash flows and operating results.
We may acquire properties that are subject to contingent or unknown liabilities for which we may have limited or no recourse against the sellers. Unknown or contingent liabilities might include liabilities for or with respect to liens attached to properties, unpaid real estate tax, utilities or HOA charges for which a subsequent owner remains liable, clean-up or remediation of environmental conditions or code violations, claims of customers, vendors or other persons dealing with the acquired entities and tax liabilities, among other things. Purchases of single-family properties acquired from lenders or in bulk purchases typically involve few or no representations or warranties with respect to the properties. Such properties often have unpaid tax, utility and HOA liabilities for which we may be obligated but fail to anticipate. In each case, our acquisition may be without any, or with only limited, recourse against the sellers with respect to unknown liabilities or conditions. As a result, if any such liability were to arise relating to our properties, or if any adverse condition exists with respect to our properties that is in excess of our insurance coverage, we might have to pay substantial amounts to settle or cure it, which could adversely affect our financial condition, cash flows and operating results.
In addition, the properties we acquire may be subject to covenants, conditions or restrictions that restrict the use or ownership of such properties, including prohibitions on leasing or requirements to obtain the approval of HOAs prior to leasing. We may not discover such restrictions during the acquisition process, and such restrictions may adversely affect our ability to utilize such properties as we intend. Municipalities, counties, or HOAs could also enact new covenants, ordinances, moratoria, or other regulations restricting or prohibiting leasing, which could adversely affect our ability to acquire, develop, or utilize properties.
We are highly dependent on information systems and systems failures and delays could significantly disrupt our business, which may, in turn, adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
Our operations are dependent upon our resident portal and property management platforms, including marketing, leasing, vendor communications, finance, intracompany communications, resident portal and property management platforms, which include certain automated processes that require access to telecommunications or the Internet, each of which is subject to system security risks. Certain critical components of our platform are dependent upon third-party service providers and a significant portion of our business operations are conducted over the Internet. As a result, we could be severely impacted by a catastrophic occurrence, such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, or a circumstance that disrupted access to telecommunications, the Internet or operations at our third-party service providers, including viruses or hackers that could penetrate network security defenses and cause system failures and disruptions of operations. Even though we believe we utilize appropriate duplication and back-up procedures, a significant outage in telecommunications, the Internet or at our third-party service providers could negatively impact our operations.
If our confidential information is compromised or corrupted, including as a result of a cybersecurity breach, our reputation and business relationships could be damaged, which could adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
A cyber incident is an intentional attack or an unintentional event that can include gaining unauthorized access to systems to disrupt operations, corrupt data or steal confidential information, including information regarding our residents, prospective tenants, and employees. Information security risks have generally increased in recent years due to the rise in new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyber attacks. In the ordinary course of our business we acquire and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and personally identifiable information of our prospective and current tenants, our employees and third-party service providers in our branch offices and on our networks and website. The secure processing and maintenance of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions.
Despite system redundancy, the implementation of security measures, required employee awareness training and the existence of a disaster recovery plan for our internal information technology systems, our systems and systems maintained by third-party vendors with which we do business are vulnerable to damage from any number of sources. We face risks associated with security breaches, whether through cyber attacks or cyber intrusions over the Internet, malware, computer viruses, attachment to emails, phishing attempts or other scams, persons inside our organization or persons/vendors with access to our systems and other significant disruptions of our information technology networks and related systems. Our information technology networks and related systems are essential to the operation of our business and our ability to perform day-to-day operations. Even the most well-protected information systems remain potentially vulnerable because the techniques used in such attempted security breaches evolve and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, and in some cases are designed not to be detected, and, in fact, may not be detected. Accordingly, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate security barriers or other preventative measures and thus it is impossible for us to entirely mitigate this risk.
We address potential breaches or disclosure of this confidential personally identifiable information by implementing a variety of security measures intended to protect the confidentiality and security of this information including, among others: (a) engaging reputable, recognized firms to help us design and maintain our information technology and data security stems; (b) conducting periodic testing and verification of information and data security systems, including performing ethical hacks of our systems to discover where any vulnerabilities may exist; and (c) providing periodic employee awareness training around phishing and other scams, malware and other cyber risks. We also maintain cyber risk insurance to provide some coverage for certain risks arising out of data and network breaches. However, there can be no assurance that these measures will prevent a cyber incident or that our cyber risk insurance coverage will be sufficient in the event of a cyber-attack.
Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, regulatory penalties, the loss of our residents, disruption to our operations and the services we provide to residents or damage our reputation, any of which could adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
A significant number of our properties are part of HOAs, and we and our tenants are subject to the rules and regulations of such HOAs, which may be arbitrary or restrictive, and violations of such rules may subject us to additional fees and penalties and litigation with such HOAs that would be costly.
A significant number of our properties are part of HOAs, which are private entities that regulate the activities of, and levy assessments on properties in, a residential subdivision. HOAs in which we own properties may have or enact onerous or arbitrary rules
that restrict our ability to renovate, market or lease our properties or require us to renovate or maintain such properties at standards or costs that are in excess of our planned operating budgets. Such rules may include requirements for landscaping, limitations on signage promoting a property for lease or sale, or the use of specific construction materials in renovations. The number of HOAs that impose limits on the number of property owners who may rent their homes is increasing. Such restrictions limit acquisition opportunities and could cause us to incur additional costs to resell the property and opportunity costs of lost rental income. Furthermore, many HOAs impose restrictions on the conduct of occupants of homes and the use of common areas and we may have tenants who violate HOA rules and for which we may be liable as the property owner and for which we may not be able to obtain reimbursement from the resident. Additionally, the boards of directors of the HOAs in which we own properties may not make important disclosures about the properties or may block our access to HOA records, initiate litigation, restrict our ability to sell our properties, impose assessments or arbitrarily change the HOA rules. We may be unaware of or unable to review or comply with HOA rules before purchasing the property and any such excessively restrictive or arbitrary regulations may cause us to sell such property at a loss, prevent us from renting such property or otherwise reduce our cash flow from such property, which would have an adverse effect on our returns on these properties.
Joint venture investments that we make could be adversely affected by our lack of sole decision-making authority, our reliance on joint venture partners’ financial condition and disputes between us and our joint venture partners.
We have co-invested, and may continue to co-invest in the future, with third parties through partnerships, joint ventures or other entities, acquiring noncontrolling interests in or sharing responsibility for managing the affairs of a property, partnership, joint venture or other entity. As a result, we would not be in a position to exercise sole decision-making authority regarding the property, partnership, joint venture or other entity which could, among other things, impact our ability to satisfy the REIT requirements. Investments in partnerships, joint ventures or other entities may, under certain circumstances, involve risks not present were a third-party not involved, including the possibility that joint venture partners might become bankrupt or fail to fund their share of required capital contributions. Joint venture partners may have economic or other business interests or goals that are inconsistent with our business interests or goals and may be in a position to take actions contrary to our policies or objectives. Such investments also may have the potential risk of impasses on decisions, such as a sale, because neither we nor our partners would have full control over the partnership or joint venture. Disputes between us and our partners may result in litigation or arbitration that would increase our expenses and prevent our officers and/or trustees from focusing their time and effort on our business. Consequently, actions by, or disputes with, our partners might result in subjecting properties owned by the partnership or joint venture to additional risk. In addition, we may in certain circumstances be liable for the actions of our third-party partners or co-venturers. In addition, we may not be able to close joint ventures on the anticipated schedule or at all. Each of these factors may result in returns on these investments being less than we expect and our financial and operating results may be adversely impacted.
We are involved in a variety of litigation.
We are involved in a range of legal actions in the ordinary course of business. These actions may include, among others, eviction proceedings and other landlord-tenant disputes, challenges to title and ownership rights (including actions brought by prior owners alleging wrongful foreclosure by their lender or servicer), disputes arising over potential violations of HOA rules and regulations and issues with local housing officials arising from the condition or maintenance of the property, outside vendor disputes and employee disputes. These actions can be time consuming and expensive and may adversely affect our reputation. For example, eviction proceedings by owners and operators of single-family homes for lease have recently been the focus of negative media attention. While we intend to vigorously defend any non-meritorious action or challenge, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to expenses and losses that may adversely affect our operating results.
Government investigations or legal proceedings brought by governmental authorities may result in significant costs and expenses and reputational harm and may divert resources from our operations and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results or cash flows.
From time to time, we are subject to government investigations or legal proceedings brought by governmental authorities. Government investigations and any related legal proceedings may result in significant costs and expenses, including legal fees, and divert management attention and company resources from our operations and execution of our business strategy. If any such proceedings are resolved adversely, governmental agencies could impose damages and fines, and may issue injunctions, cease and desist orders, bars on serving as a public company officer or director and other equitable remedies against us or our directors and officers. The financial costs could be in excess of our insurance coverage or not be covered by our insurance coverage. Any governmental legal proceeding, whether or not resolved adversely, could also negatively impact our reputation.
Our revolving credit facility, unsecured senior notes and securitizations contain financial and operating covenants that could restrict our business and investment activities.
Our revolving credit facility, unsecured senior notes and securitizations contain financial and operating covenants, such as debt ratios, minimum liquidity, unencumbered asset value, minimum debt service coverage ratio, and other limitations that may restrict our ability to make distributions or other payments to the Company’s shareholders and the Operating Partnership’s ability to make distributions on its OP units and may restrict our investment activities. Our securitizations require, among other things, that a cash management account controlled by the lender collect all rents and cash generated by the properties securing the portfolio. Upon the occurrence of an event of default or failure to satisfy the required minimum debt yield or debt service coverage ratio, the lender may apply any excess cash as the lender elects, including prepayment of principal and amounts due under the loans. These covenants may restrict our ability to engage in transactions that we believe would otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders. Further, such restrictions could make it difficult for us to satisfy the requirements necessary to maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Failure to meet our financial covenants could result from, among other things, changes in our results of operations, the incurrence of additional debt, substantial impairments in the value of our properties or changes in general economic conditions. If we violate covenants in our revolving credit facility, unsecured senior notes, securitizations or future agreements, we could be required to repay all or a portion of our indebtedness before maturity at a time when we might be unable to arrange financing for such repayment on attractive terms or at all.
Adverse changes in our credit ratings could negatively affect our financing ability.
Our credit ratings may affect the amount of capital we can access, as well as the terms and pricing of any debt we may incur. There can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our current investment grade credit ratings. In the event that our current credit ratings are downgraded or removed, we would most likely incur higher borrowing costs and experience greater difficulty in obtaining additional financing, which in turn could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and liquidity.
We are subject to risks from the global pandemic associated with COVID-19 and we may in the future be subject to risks from other public health crises.
Our business is subject to risks from the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently impacting our tenants, employees and suppliers. The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly, adversely affecting public health, economic activity and employment. The risks to our business from the COVID-19 pandemic include:
•The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to combat it have resulted in a significant increase in unemployment. Our operating results depend significantly on the ability of our current and prospective tenants to pay their rent. To the extent our current tenants or prospective tenants experience unemployment, deteriorating financial conditions, and declines in household income, they may be unwilling or unable to pay rent in full on a timely basis or renew or enter into new leases for our homes, and our revenues and operating results could be negatively affected. We have received a number of tenant inquiries regarding rent relief and we continue to work closely with delinquent residents on a case-by-case basis to find the resolution that is best for the resident and the Company. Although minimal to date, workout options have included and may in the future include deferred payment plans which we began offering in June, or, where appropriate, early lease termination. The longer the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the greater the adverse impact may be on our tenants’ ability to make timely rental payments, on prospective residents to afford our homes, and ultimately on our occupancy.
•State, local, federal and industry-initiated efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to adversely affect our business. Certain government actions have, and future government actions may, restrict our ability to collect rent or enforce remedies for failure to pay rent. In addition, government restrictions on movement have and may in the future limit the ability of prospective tenants to visit our properties or new tenants to move into our properties. These government efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to increase possible credit losses and may adversely affect our occupancy levels.
•Our acquisition and development activities have been slowed. Our growth may be adversely impacted as our ability to acquire and construct homes has been negatively affected by COVID-19. Due to market uncertainties regarding future asset values at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily suspended acquisitions through traditional channels and our National Builder Program but have since resumed acquisitions through these channels. We have continued new home construction, which most states permit as an essential business activity; however, some states where we are constructing new homes, such as Washington, temporarily prohibited residential construction during the early stages of the COVID-19
pandemic and may institute future prohibitions. We have also experienced certain other COVID-19 related construction delays, including government office slowdowns. In addition, adverse impacts on the supply of construction materials and labor may delay or halt our construction activity.
•Our employees face COVID-19 health risks. If a significant number of our employees, or if key personnel, are unable to work as a result of COVID-19, this would adversely impact our business and operating results. In addition, during the COVID-19 outbreak, substantially all of our employees are working remotely and depend on Internet and third-party communications vendors that may be unreliable, experience shut-downs or be subject to new cybersecurity risks, adversely impacting operations.
•COVID-19 may impact our ability to maintain our properties. Some tenants may be reluctant to request routine maintenance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Deferring routine repairs and maintenance may impact the value and desirability of our rental homes. It may also increase the expense and difficulty of completing these repairs in the future and may delay other needed repairs when the COVID-19 pandemic no longer constrains business activity.
We believe that the degree to which COVID-19 continues to adversely impact our business, operating results, cash flows, ability to make distributions, ability to service our debt and/or financial condition will be driven primarily by the duration, spread and severity of the pandemic, including resurgences, impact of government regulations, and the speed and effectiveness of vaccine distribution, all of which are uncertain and difficult to predict. As a result, we are not able at this time to estimate the effect of these factors on our business, but the adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows could be material. Future public health crises could have similar impacts.
Risks Related to the Real Estate Industry
Our performance and the value of our properties are subject to general economic conditions and risks associated with our real estate assets.
If the properties we acquire do not generate income sufficient to meet operating expenses, including debt service and capital expenditures, our ability to make distributions to the Company’s shareholders and the Operating Partnership’s ability to make distributions to its OP unitholders, including AH4R, could be adversely affected. There are significant expenditures associated with an investment in real estate (such as debt service, real estate taxes, insurance and maintenance costs) that generally do not decline when circumstances reduce the income from the property. Income from and the value of our properties may be adversely affected by numerous factors, including general economic conditions (particularly increases in unemployment), property supply and demand fundamentals and rent control or rent stabilization or other housing laws, which could prevent us from raising rents.
Environmentally hazardous conditions may adversely affect our financial condition, cash flows and operating results.
Under various federal, state and local environmental laws, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for the cost of removing or remediating hazardous or toxic substances on such property. Such laws often impose liability whether or not the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. Even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination, each person covered by applicable environmental laws may be held responsible for all of the clean-up costs incurred. In addition, third parties may sue the owner or operator of a site for damages based on personal injury, natural resources or property damage or other costs, including investigation and clean-up costs, resulting from the environmental contamination. The presence of hazardous or toxic substances on one of our properties, or the failure to properly remediate a contaminated property, could give rise to a lien in favor of the government for costs it may incur to address the contamination, or otherwise adversely affect our ability to sell or lease the property or borrow using the property as collateral. Environmental laws also may impose restrictions on the manner in which properties may be used or businesses may be operated. A property owner who violates environmental laws may be subject to sanctions which may be enforced by governmental agencies or, in certain circumstances, private parties. In connection with the acquisition, development and ownership of our properties, we may be exposed to such costs. The cost of defending against environmental claims, of compliance with environmental regulatory requirements or of remediating any contaminated property could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and, consequently, amounts available for distribution to shareholders and unitholders.
Compliance with new or more stringent environmental laws or regulations or stricter interpretation of existing laws may require material expenditures by us. We may be subject to environmental laws or regulations relating to our properties, such as those concerning lead-based paint, mold, asbestos, proximity to power lines or other issues. We cannot assure you that future laws, ordinances or regulations will not impose any material environmental liability, or that the current environmental condition of our
properties will not be affected by the operations of residents, existing conditions of the land, operations in the vicinity of the properties or the activities of unrelated third parties. In addition, we may be required to comply with various local, state and federal fire, health, life-safety and similar regulations. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could result in fines and/or damages, suspension of personnel, civil liability and/or other sanctions.
Tenant relief laws, including laws restricting evictions, rent control laws and other regulations that limit our ability to increase rental rates may negatively impact our rental income and profitability.
As landlord of numerous properties, we are involved regularly in evicting tenants who are not paying their rent or are otherwise in material violation of the terms of their lease. Eviction activities impose legal and managerial expenses that raise our costs. The eviction process is typically subject to legal barriers, mandatory “cure” policies and other sources of expense and delay, each of which may delay our ability to gain possession and stabilize the property. Additionally, state and local landlord-tenant laws may impose legal duties to assist tenants in relocating to new housing, or restrict the landlord’s ability to recover certain costs or charge tenants for damage tenants cause to the landlord’s premises. Because such laws vary by state and locality, we and any regional and local property managers we hire will need to be familiar with and take all appropriate steps to comply with all applicable landlord tenant laws, and we will need to incur supervisory and legal expenses to ensure such compliance. To the extent that we do not comply with state or local laws, we may be subjected to civil litigation filed by individuals, in class actions or by state or local law enforcement. We may be required to pay our adversaries’ litigation fees and expenses if judgment is entered against us in such litigation, or if we settle such litigation. Furthermore, rent control laws or other regulations that may limit our ability to increase rental rates may affect our rental income. If rent controls unexpectedly became applicable to certain of our properties, our revenue from and the value of such properties could be adversely affected. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been increases in restrictions and other regulations on evictions and rent increases and we believe these increases will continue given the ongoing effects of the pandemic, economic challenges nationally and in many of our markets and increasing political support for these types of regulations.
Class action, tenant rights and consumer demands, litigation and adverse media publicity could directly limit and constrain our operations and may result in significant litigation expenses.
Certain organizations, including tenant rights and housing advocacy organizations have been critical of our business model. We have been and may in the future be a target of legal demands, litigation and adverse media publicity driven by these organizations. While we intend to conduct our business lawfully and in compliance with applicable landlord-tenant and consumer laws, such organizations might work in conjunction with trial and pro bono lawyers in one state or multiple states to attempt to bring claims against us on a class action basis for damages or injunctive relief and to seek to publicize our activities in a negative light. We cannot anticipate what form such actions might take, or what remedies they may seek. Additionally, these organizations may lobby local county and municipal attorneys or state attorneys general to pursue enforcement or litigation against us, may lobby state and local legislatures to pass new laws and regulations to constrain our business operations or may generate unfavorable publicity for our business. If they are successful in any such endeavors, they could directly limit and constrain our operations, adversely impact our business and may impose on us significant litigation expenses, including settlements to avoid continued litigation or judgments for damages or injunctions.
Climate change and related regulatory actions may adversely affect our business.
To the extent that significant changes in the climate occur in areas where our communities are located, we may experience extreme weather and/or changes in precipitation and temperature, all of which may result in physical damage to, or a decrease in demand for, properties located in these areas or affected by these conditions. Should the impact of climate change be material in nature, including significant property damage to or destruction of our properties, or occur for lengthy periods of time, our financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected. In addition, changes in federal, state and local legislation and regulation based on concerns about climate change could result in delays and increased costs to complete our developments and increased capital expenditures on our existing properties (for example, to improve their energy efficiency and/or resistance to inclement weather) without a corresponding increase in revenue, and, as a result, adversely impact our financial results and operations.
It would be difficult for us to quickly generate cash from sales of our properties.
Real estate investments, particularly large portfolios of properties, are relatively illiquid. If we had a sudden need for significant cash, it would be difficult for us to fund such need quickly through a sale of our properties. Our ability to sell our properties may also be limited by our need to avoid the 100% prohibited transactions tax that is imposed on gain recognized by a REIT from the sale of property characterized as dealer property. In order to ensure that we avoid such characterization, we may be required to hold
our properties for a minimum period of time and comply with certain other requirements in the Code or dispose of our properties through a TRS.
Risks Related to Our Ownership, Organization and Structure
AH4R’s fiduciary duties as the general partner of the Operating Partnership could create conflicts of interest, which may impede business decisions that could benefit our shareholders.
As the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership, AH4R has a fiduciary duty to the other limited partners in the Operating Partnership, the discharge of which may conflict with the interests of the Company’s shareholders. The limited partners of the Operating Partnership have agreed that, in the event of a conflict in the fiduciary duties owed by AH4R to the Company’s shareholders and in AH4R’s capacity as the general partner of the Operating Partnership to such limited partner, AH4R is under no obligation to give priority to the interests of such limited partner.
In addition, the limited partners have the right to vote on certain amendments to the Agreement of Limited Partnership of the Operating Partnership and to approve certain amendments that would adversely affect their rights. These voting rights may be exercised in a manner that conflicts with the interests of the Company’s shareholders.
Our senior management, trustees and their affiliates may have significant voting influence due to their stock ownership.
Members of the Company’s senior management, trustees and their affiliates hold significant amounts of the Company’s Class A and Class B common shares and Class A units in the Operating Partnership. Each Class A common share is entitled to one vote. Each Class B common share is entitled to 50 votes and converts into Class A common shares on a one for one basis for every 49 partnership units converted. Class A units in the Operating Partnership are nonvoting. The Company’s dual class structure was put in place when the Company was organized to provide voting rights to holders of units in the Operating Partnership corresponding with their equity ownership. All members of the Company’s senior management, trustees and their affiliates hold Class A common shares and Class B common shares that represent approximately 22.2% of the current voting power of the Company as of December 31, 2020. Assuming the conversion of all of the Class A units held by these individuals into Class A common shares, they would own approximately 32.0% of the voting power of the Company based on the Company’s outstanding common shares as of December 31, 2020. The Hughes Family and affiliates own all of the Class B common shares and, together with the Class A common shares they own, hold 22.0% of the voting power of the Company. Our senior management, trustees and affiliates have and are expected to continue to have the ability to significantly influence all matters submitted to a vote of the Company’s shareholders, including electing trustees, changing the Company’s charter documents and approving extraordinary transactions, such as mergers. Their interest in such matters may differ from other shareholders and may also make it more difficult for another party to acquire or control the Company with their votes.
Provisions of the Company’s declaration of trust may limit the ability of a third-party to acquire control of the Company by authorizing the Company’s board of trustees to issue additional securities.
The Company’s board of trustees may, without shareholder approval, amend its declaration of trust to increase or decrease the aggregate number of the Company’s shares or the number of shares of any class or series that the Company has the authority to issue and to classify or reclassify any unissued common or preferred shares, and set the preferences, rights and other terms of the classified or reclassified shares. As a result, the Company’s board of trustees may authorize the issuance of additional shares or establish a series of common or preferred shares that may delay or prevent a change in control of the Company, including transactions at a premium over the market price of the Company’s shares, even if the Company’s shareholders believe that a change in control is in their interest. These provisions, along with the restrictions on ownership and transfer contained in the Company’s declaration of trust and certain provisions of Maryland law, could discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or make it more difficult for a third-party to gain control of the Company, which could adversely affect the market price of the Company’s securities.
Provisions of Maryland law may limit the ability of a third-party to acquire control of us by requiring the Company’s board of trustees or shareholders to approve proposals to acquire our company or effect a change in control.
Certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”) applicable to Maryland real estate investment trusts may have the effect of inhibiting a third-party from making a proposal to acquire us or of impeding a change in control under circumstances that otherwise could provide our shareholders with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price of their shares, including:
•“business combination” provisions that, subject to limitations, prohibit certain business combinations between us and an “interested shareholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of our
outstanding voting shares or an affiliate or associate of ours who, at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of our then outstanding shares) or an affiliate of any interested shareholder for five years after the most recent date on which the shareholder becomes an interested shareholder, and thereafter imposes two super-majority shareholder voting requirements on these combinations, unless, among other conditions, our common shareholders receive a minimum price, as defined in the MGCL, for their shares and the consideration is received in cash or in the same form as previously paid by the interested shareholder for its shares; and
•“control share” provisions that provide that our “control shares” (defined as voting shares that, when aggregated with all other shares controlled by the shareholder, entitle the shareholder to exercise one of three increasing ranges of voting power in electing trustees) acquired in a “control share acquisition” (defined as the direct or indirect acquisition of ownership or control of issued and outstanding “control shares”) have no voting rights except to the extent approved by our shareholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding shares owned by the acquirer, by our officers or by our employees who are also trustees of our company.
By resolution of the Company’s board of trustees, we have opted out of the business combination provisions of the MGCL and provided that any business combination between us and any other person is exempt from the business combination provisions of the MGCL, provided that the business combination is first approved by the Company’s board of trustees (including a majority of trustees who are not affiliates or associates of such persons). In addition, pursuant to a provision in the Company’s bylaws, we have opted out of the control share provisions of the MGCL. However, the Company’s board of trustees may by resolution elect to opt into the business combination provisions of the MGCL and we may, by amending the Company’s bylaws, opt into the control share provisions of the MGCL in the future.
In addition, the “unsolicited takeover” provisions of Title 3, Subtitle 8 of the MGCL permit the board of trustees of a Maryland REIT, without shareholder approval and regardless of what is currently provided in its declaration of trust or bylaws, to implement certain takeover defenses, including adopting a classified board or increasing the vote required to remove a trustee. Such takeover defenses may have the effect of inhibiting a third-party from making an acquisition proposal for us or of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us under the circumstances that otherwise could provide our common shareholders with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-current market price. In July 2013, the Company’s board of trustees and the Company’s shareholders approved an amendment to the Company’s declaration of trust under which we elected not to be subject to these provisions. Therefore, any revocation or modification of this opt-out would require an amendment to the Company’s declaration of trust that is first recommended by the Company’s board of trustees and then approved by a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of trustees.
Risks Related to Qualification and Operation as a REIT
Failure to qualify as a REIT, or failure to remain qualified as a REIT, would cause us to be taxed as a regular corporation, which would substantially reduce funds available for distribution to our shareholders.
We believe that we have been organized and have operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT and that our current organization and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to qualify as a REIT. However, we have not requested and do not intend to request a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) that we qualify as a REIT. As a result, we cannot assure you that we qualify or that we will remain qualified as a REIT.
Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only limited judicial and administrative authorities exist. Even a technical or inadvertent violation could jeopardize our REIT qualification. Our qualification as a REIT depends upon our satisfaction of certain asset, income, organizational, distribution, shareholder ownership and other requirements on a continuing basis. New legislation, court decisions or administrative guidance, in each case possibly with retroactive effect, may make it more difficult or impossible for us to qualify as a REIT.
If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, and we do not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, we will face serious tax consequences that will substantially reduce the funds available for distributions to our shareholders because:
•we would not be allowed a deduction for dividends paid to our shareholders in computing our taxable income and would be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the regular corporate tax rate (currently 21%); and
•unless we are entitled to relief under certain U.S. federal income tax laws, we could not re-elect REIT status until the fifth calendar year after the year in which we failed to qualify as a REIT.
In addition, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will no longer be required to make distributions to our shareholders and may choose to deploy available cash in a different manner. As a result of all these factors, our failure to qualify as a REIT could impair our ability to expand our business and raise capital, and it could adversely affect the value of our preferred and common shares.
Even if we qualify as a REIT, we may face other tax liabilities that reduce our cash flow.
Even if we qualify as a REIT, we may be subject to certain U.S. federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets, including taxes on any undistributed income, tax on income from some activities conducted as a result of a foreclosure, and state or local income, property and transfer taxes. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax if the actual amount that we distribute to our shareholders in a calendar year is less than a minimum amount specified under the Code, and we could, in certain circumstances, be required to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be significant in amount) in order to utilize one or more relief provisions under the Code to maintain our qualification as a REIT. Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for distribution to our shareholders. In addition, in order to meet the REIT qualification requirements, or to avert the imposition of a 100% tax that applies to certain gains derived by a REIT from dealer property or inventory, we hold some of our assets through a TRS or other subsidiary corporations that are subject to U.S. federal, state and local corporate taxes. Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
Complying with the REIT requirements may cause us to forgo and/or liquidate otherwise attractive investments.
To qualify as a REIT, we must continually satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets, the amounts that we distribute to our shareholders and the ownership of our shares. To meet these tests, we may be required to take or forgo taking actions that we would otherwise consider advantageous. For instance, in order to satisfy the gross income or asset tests applicable to REITs under the Code, we may be required to forgo investments that we otherwise would make. Furthermore, we may be required to liquidate from our portfolio otherwise attractive investments. In addition, we may be required to make distributions to our shareholders at disadvantageous times or when we do not have funds readily available for distribution. These actions could reduce our income and amounts available for distribution to our shareholders. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our investment performance.
The prohibited transactions tax may limit our ability to engage in sale transactions.
A REIT’s income from “prohibited transactions” is subject to a 100% tax. In general, “prohibited transactions” are sales or other dispositions of property other than foreclosure property, held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. We may be subject to the prohibited transactions tax equal to 100% of net gain upon a disposition of real property that we hold. Although a safe harbor is available, for which certain sales of property by a REIT are not subject to the 100% prohibited transaction tax, we cannot assure you that we can comply with the safe harbor or that we will avoid owning property that may be characterized as held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. Consequently, we may choose not to engage in certain sales of our properties or we may conduct such sales through our TRS, which would be subject to U.S. federal and state income taxation. In addition, we may have to sell numerous properties to a single or a few purchasers, which could cause us to be less profitable than would be the case if we sold properties on a property-by-property basis. For example, if we decide to acquire properties opportunistically to renovate in anticipation of immediate resale, we will need to conduct that activity through our TRS to avoid the 100% prohibited transactions tax.
The 100% tax described above may limit our ability to enter into transactions that would otherwise be beneficial to us. For example, if circumstances make it not profitable or otherwise uneconomical for us to remain in certain states or geographical markets, the 100% tax could delay our ability to exit those states or markets by selling our assets in those states or markets other than through a TRS, which could harm our operating profits and the trading price of our shares. In addition, in order to avoid the prohibited transactions tax, we may be required to limit the structures we utilize for our securitization transactions, even though the sales or structures might otherwise be beneficial to us.
Complying with REIT requirements may limit our ability to hedge effectively and may cause us to incur tax liabilities.
The REIT provisions of the Code may limit our ability to hedge our assets and operations. Under these provisions, any income that we generate from transactions intended to hedge our interest rate risk will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the REIT 75% and 95% gross income tests if the instrument hedges interest rate risk on liabilities used to carry or acquire real estate assets or manages the risk of certain currency fluctuations, and such instrument is properly identified under applicable Treasury Regulations. Income from hedging transactions that do not meet these requirements will generally constitute non-qualifying income for purposes of both the REIT 75% and 95% gross income tests. As a result of these rules, we may have to limit our use of hedging techniques that might otherwise be advantageous or implement those hedges through a TRS. This could increase the cost of our hedging activities because our TRS would be subject to tax on gains or expose us to greater risks associated with changes in interest
rates than we would otherwise want to bear. In addition, losses in our TRS will generally not provide any tax benefit, except for being carried back or forward against past or future taxable income in the TRS, provided, however, losses in our TRS arising in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020, may only be carried forward and may only be deducted against 80% of future taxable income in the TRS.
Our ownership of our TRS is subject to limitations and our transactions with our TRS will cause us to be subject to a 100% penalty tax on certain income or deductions if those transactions are not conducted on arm’s-length terms.
The Code provides that no more than 20% of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of shares or securities of one or more TRS. Our TRS earn income that otherwise would be nonqualifying income if earned by us. Our TRS also hold certain properties the sale of which may not qualify for the safe harbor for prohibited transactions described above. The limitation on ownership of TRS stock could limit the extent to which we can conduct these activities and other activities through our TRS. In addition, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, taxpayers, including TRS, are subject to a limitation on their ability to deduct net business interest generally equal to 30% of adjusted taxable income, subject to certain exceptions. However, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act enacted in March 2020 generally increased the 30% limitation to a 50% limitation for any taxable year beginning in 2019 and 2020 for corporate taxpayers. This provision may limit the ability of our TRS to deduct interest, which could increase its taxable income. The Code also imposes a 100% excise tax on certain transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis. There can be no assurance that we will be able to comply with the TRS limitation or avoid application of the 100% excise tax.
You may be restricted from acquiring or transferring certain amounts of our shares.
In order to qualify as a REIT, for each taxable year beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013, five or fewer individuals, as defined in the Code, may not own, beneficially or constructively, more than 50% in value of our issued and outstanding equity shares at any time during the last half of a taxable year. Attribution rules in the Code determine if any individual or entity beneficially or constructively owns our equity shares under this requirement. Additionally, at least 100 persons must beneficially own our equity shares during at least 335 days of a taxable year for each taxable year after 2012. To help insure that we meet these tests, the declaration of trust restricts the acquisition and ownership of our equity shares.
The Company’s declaration of trust, with certain exceptions, authorizes the Company’s board of trustees to take such actions as are necessary and desirable to preserve our qualification as a REIT. Unless exempted by the Company’s board of trustees, the Company’s declaration of trust prohibits any person, other than the Hughes family, which is subject to the “excepted holder limit” (as defined in the declaration of trust), and “designated investment entities” (as defined in the declaration of trust), from beneficially or constructively owning more than 8.0% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding common shares and more than 9.9% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of any class or series of our preferred shares. The Company’s board of trustees may not grant an exemption from these restrictions to any proposed transferee whose ownership in excess of the applicable ownership limit would result in our failing to qualify as a REIT. These restrictions on ownership and transfer will not apply, however, if the Company’s board of trustees determines that it is no longer in our best interest to continue to qualify as a REIT. The share ownership restrictions of the Code for REITs and the ownership and transfer restrictions in our declaration of trust may inhibit market activity in our equity shares and restrict our business combination opportunities.
To satisfy the REIT distribution requirements, we may be forced to take certain actions to raise funds if we have insufficient cash flow which could materially and adversely affect us and the trading price of our common or preferred shares.
To qualify as a REIT, we generally must distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income each year, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and any net capital gains, and we will be subject to corporate income tax on our undistributed taxable income to the extent that we distribute less than 100% of our REIT taxable income each year, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which distributions paid by us in any calendar year are less than the sum of 85% of our ordinary income, 95% of our capital gain net income and 100% of our undistributed income from prior years. In order to satisfy these distribution requirements to maintain our REIT status and avoid the payment of income and excise taxes, we may need to take certain actions to raise funds if we have insufficient cash flow, such as borrowing funds, raising additional equity capital, selling a portion of our assets or finding another alternative to make distributions to our stockholders. We may be forced to take those actions even if the then-prevailing market conditions are not favorable for those actions. This situation could arise from, among other things, differences in timing between the actual receipt of cash and recognition of income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, or the effect of non-deductible capital expenditures or other non-deductible expenses, the creation of reserves, or required debt or amortization payments. Such actions could increase our costs and reduce the value of our common or preferred shares. These sources, however, may not be available on favorable terms or at all. Our access to third-party sources of capital depends on a number of factors, including the market’s perception of our growth potential, our current debt levels, the market price of our common or preferred shares, and our current and potential future earnings. We cannot assure you that we will have access to such capital on favorable terms at the desired times, or at all, which may
cause us to curtail our investment activities and/or to dispose of assets at inopportune times, and could materially and adversely affect us and the trading price of our common or preferred shares.
We may be subject to adverse legislative or regulatory tax changes that could reduce the market price of our outstanding common or preferred shares.
The IRS, the United States Treasury Department and Congress frequently review U.S. federal income tax legislation, regulations and other guidance. We cannot predict whether, when or to what extent new U.S. federal tax laws, regulations, interpretations or rulings will be adopted. Any legislative action may prospectively or retroactively modify our tax treatment and, therefore, may adversely affect our taxation or our Company’s shareholders. We urge you to consult with your tax advisor with respect to the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in our stock. Although REITs generally receive certain tax advantages compared to entities taxed as “C” corporations, it is possible that future legislation would result in a REIT having fewer tax advantages, and it could become more advantageous for a company that invests in real estate to elect to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a “C” corporation.
The “fast-pay stock” rules could apply if we issue preferred shares in a reopening, which could subject our shareholders to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.
We have, and may continue to have, series of preferred shares outstanding with respect to which we have the ability to issue additional preferred shares of that series without shareholder approval (referred to as a “reopening” of the preferred shares). We may issue additional series of preferred shares in the future with the reopening feature. If we issue preferred shares in a reopening at a price that exceeds the redemption price of such preferred shares by more than a de minimis amount, those shares could be considered to be “fast-pay stock” under Treasury Regulations promulgated under Section 7701(l) of the Code (the “Fast-Pay Stock Regulations”).
Under the Fast-Pay Stock Regulations, if stock of a REIT is structured so that dividends paid with respect to the stock are economically (in whole or in part) a return of the stockholder’s investment (rather than a return on the stockholder’s investment), the stock is characterized as “fast-pay stock,” resulting in the adverse tax consequences described below. Under the Fast-Pay Stock Regulations, unless clearly demonstrated otherwise, our preferred shares are presumed to be fast-pay stock if they are issued for an amount that exceeds (by more than a de minimis amount, as determined under certain other Treasury Regulations) the amount at which the shareholder can be compelled to dispose of the shares (“Fast-Pay Stock”). Apart from the Fast-Pay Stock Regulations, no meaningful guidance exists regarding the determination of whether a dividend economically constitutes a return of investment for these purposes or how a taxpayer could clearly demonstrate otherwise.
If any of our preferred shares are determined to be Fast-Pay Stock, the U.S. federal income tax treatment of the holders of such Fast-Pay Stock (the “FP Shareholders”) and our other shareholders (the “NFP Shareholders”) would be as described below:
•The FP Shareholders would be treated as having purchased financing instruments from the NFP Shareholders. Such financing instruments would be deemed to have the same terms as the Fast-Pay Stock.
•Payments made by us on the Fast-Pay Stock would be deemed to be made by us to the NFP Shareholders, and the NFP Shareholders would be deemed to pay equal amounts to the FP Shareholders under the deemed financing instruments.
•Any Fast-Pay Stock would not be fungible for U.S. federal income tax purposes with other preferred shares.
•If an NFP Shareholder sells our shares, in addition to any consideration actually paid and received for such shares, (i) the buyer would be deemed to pay, and such NFP Shareholder would be deemed to receive, the amount necessary to terminate the NFP Shareholder’s position in the deemed financing instruments at fair market value, and (ii) the buyer would be deemed to issue a financing instrument to the appropriate FP Shareholders in exchange for the amount necessary to terminate the NFP Shareholder’s position in the deemed financing instruments. For any transactions that are not sales, but that affect any of our shares that are not Fast-Pay Stock, the parties to the transaction must make appropriate adjustments to properly take into account the Fast-Pay Stock arrangement.
While the character of the deemed payments and deemed financing instruments (for example, stock or debt) described above are determined under general U.S. federal income tax principles and depend on all the facts and circumstances, there is a lack of meaningful guidance regarding the consequences to us, the FP Shareholders and NFP Shareholders of the payments deemed made and received. For example, dividends received by the FP Shareholders generally could be treated as (i) additional dividend income to the NFP Shareholders and (ii) ordinary income, in whole or in part, to the FP Shareholders. In addition, the extent to which NFP
Shareholders could deduct payments deemed made on the financing instruments and the withholding taxes and information reporting requirements that could apply are uncertain.
Transactions involving fast-pay stock arrangements are treated as “listed transactions” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Thus, if any preferred shares issued by us are treated as Fast-Pay Stock, we and our shareholders would be required to report our and their participation in the transaction on IRS Form 8886 on an annual basis with our and their U.S. federal income tax returns and also would be required to mail a copy of that form to the IRS Office of Tax Shelter Analysis. Failure to comply with those disclosure requirements could result in the assessment by the IRS of interest, additions to tax and onerous penalties. In addition, an accuracy-related penalty applies under the Code to any reportable transaction understatement attributable to a listed transaction if a significant purpose of the transaction is the avoidance or evasion of U.S. federal income tax. Finally, treatment as a listed transaction would mean that certain of our “material advisors” (as defined under applicable Treasury Regulations) also would be required to file a disclosure statement with the IRS. We and certain of our advisors could decide to file disclosure statements with the IRS on a protective basis to avoid the risk of penalties, even if it is uncertain that our preferred shares are in fact Fast-Pay Stock or that such advisor is a “material advisor.”
Prospective shareholders should consult their own tax advisors as to the application of these rules to their individual circumstances.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The following table summarizes certain key single-family properties metrics as of December 31, 2020:
Number of Single-Family Properties (1)
|% of Total Single-Family Properties||Gross Book Value (millions)||% of Gross Book Value Total||Avg. Gross Book Value per Property||Avg.|
|Avg. Property Age (years)||Avg. Year|
Purchased or Delivered
| Atlanta, GA ||4,977||9.4 ||%||$||922.2 ||9.2 ||%||$||185,301 ||2,165||17.4||2015|
| Dallas-Fort Worth, TX ||4,313||8.2 ||%||720.6 ||7.3 ||%||167,085 ||2,117||16.7||2014|
| Charlotte, NC ||3,811||7.2 ||%||756.6 ||7.6 ||%||198,541 ||2,100||16.2||2015|
| Phoenix, AZ ||3,147||6.0 ||%||566.1 ||5.6 ||%||179,899 ||1,837||17.2||2015|
| Houston, TX ||2,979||5.6 ||%||495.2 ||5.0 ||%||166,244 ||2,094||15.0||2014|
| Nashville, TN ||2,907||5.5 ||%||634.2 ||6.3 ||%||218,157 ||2,109||15.1||2015|
| Indianapolis, IN ||2,813||5.3 ||%||437.7 ||4.4 ||%||155,613 ||1,930||18.2||2013|
| Tampa, FL ||2,464||4.7 ||%||501.8 ||5.0 ||%||203,648 ||1,945||14.5||2015|
| Jacksonville, FL ||2,424||4.6 ||%||445.5 ||4.4 ||%||183,807 ||1,937||14.6||2015|
| Raleigh, NC ||2,118||4.0 ||%||396.7 ||4.0 ||%||187,288 ||1,878||15.4||2015|
| Columbus, OH ||2,062||3.9 ||%||361.8 ||3.6 ||%||175,438 ||1,870||18.9||2015|
| Cincinnati, OH ||1,982||3.7 ||%||351.7 ||3.5 ||%||177,441 ||1,852||18.4||2013|
| Greater Chicago area, IL and IN ||1,730||3.3 ||%||318.6 ||3.2 ||%||184,161 ||1,869||19.3||2013|
| Orlando, FL ||1,743||3.3 ||%||324.5 ||3.3 ||%||186,200 ||1,903||18.4||2015|
| Salt Lake City, UT ||1,595||3.0 ||%||416.2 ||4.0 ||%||260,946 ||2,182||16.9||2015|
| Charleston, SC ||1,238||2.3 ||%||252.9 ||2.6 ||%||204,280 ||1,971||12.3||2016|
| Las Vegas, NV ||1,127||2.1 ||%||215.1 ||2.0 ||%||190,839 ||1,854||16.5||2013|
| San Antonio, TX ||938||1.8 ||%||153.4 ||1.5 ||%||163,531 ||2,023||16.6||2014|
| Savannah/Hilton Head, SC ||917||1.7 ||%||168.7 ||1.7 ||%||183,967 ||1,871||12.8||2016|
| Denver, CO ||831||1.6 ||%||249.8 ||2.5 ||%||300,562 ||2,103||18.3||2015|
All Other (2)
|6,757||12.8 ||%||1,310.5 ||13.3 ||%||193,950 ||1,876||15.8||2015|
|Total/Average||52,873||100.0 ||%||$||9,999.8 ||100.0 ||%||$||189,129 ||1,987||16.4||2014|
(1)Excludes 711 single-family properties classified as held for sale as of December 31, 2020.
(2)Represents 15 markets in 14 states.
For details on material encumbrances on our properties, see “Schedule III—Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation” included in Part IV, “Item 15. Exhibit and Financial Statement Schedules” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Property and Management
We lease office space in Calabasas, California for our company headquarters, own commercial real estate in Las Vegas, Nevada for our operational headquarters and lease office space in 24 locations in 14 states.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
For a description of the Company’s legal proceedings, see “Note 14. Commitments and Contingencies” to our consolidated financial statements included as a separate section in Part IV, “Item 15. Exhibit and Financial Statement Schedules” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our Class A common shares have traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “AMH” since August 1, 2013. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our Class A common shares. On February 24, 2021, the last reported sales price per share of our Class A common shares was $31.70. The Company’s Class B common shares and the Operating Partnership’s Class A units are not publicly traded.
Shareholders / Unitholders
As of the close of business on February 24, 2021, there were approximately 29 holders of record of the Company’s Class A common shares (excludes beneficial owners whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees), one shareholder of record of the Company’s Class B common shares and approximately 11 holders of record of the Operating Partnership’s Class A units (including AH4R’s general partnership interest).
The Company’s board of trustees declared total distributions of $0.20 per Class A and Class B common share during each of the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. The Operating Partnership funds the payment of distributions, and an equivalent amount of distributions were declared on the corresponding Operating Partnership units. Future distributions on our Class A and Class B common shares will be determined by and at the sole discretion of the Company’s board of trustees and will be based on a variety of factors, which may include among others: our actual and projected results of operations; our liquidity, cash flows and financial condition; revenue from our properties; our operating expenses; economic conditions; debt service requirements; limitations under our financing arrangements; applicable law; capital requirements; the REIT requirements of the Code; utilization of AH4R’s net operating loss (“NOL”) carryforwards; and such other factors as the Company’s board of trustees deems relevant. To maintain our qualification as a REIT, AH4R must generally make annual distributions to our shareholders of at least 90% of our REIT taxable income for the current taxable year, determined without regard to deductions for dividends paid and any net capital gains. AH4R intends to use its NOL to reduce AH4R’s REIT taxable income and to pay quarterly distributions to our shareholders, and the Operating Partnership intends to pay quarterly distributions to the Operating Partnership’s unitholders, including AH4R, which distributions, in the aggregate, approximately equal or exceed AH4R’s net taxable income in the relevant year. However, our cash available for distribution may be less than the amount required to meet the distribution requirements for REITs under the Code and we may be required to borrow money, sell assets or make taxable distributions of our equity shares or debt securities to satisfy the distribution requirements. No distributions can be paid on our Class A and Class B common shares unless we have first paid all cumulative distributions on our Series D, Series E, Series F, Series G and Series H perpetual preferred shares. The distribution preference of our Series D, Series E, Series F, Series G and Series H perpetual preferred shares could limit our ability to make distributions to the holders of our Class A and Class B common shares.
The following table displays the estimated income tax treatment of distributions on our Class A and Class B common shares and Series D, Series E, Series F, Series G and Series H perpetual preferred shares for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019:
Ordinary dividend income (1)
|Qualified dividend income|
Capital gains (2)(3)
Ordinary dividend income (1)
Capital gains (2)
|Common Shares||54.9 ||%||1.1 ||%||44.0 ||%||100.0 ||%||59.4 ||%||40.6 ||%||100.0 ||%|
|Perpetual Preferred Shares:|
|Series D||54.9 ||%||1.1 ||%||44.0 ||%||100.0 ||%||59.4 ||%||40.6 ||%||100.0 ||%|
|Series E||54.9 ||%||1.1 ||%||44.0 ||%||100.0 ||%||59.4 ||%||40.6 ||%||100.0 ||%|
|Series F||54.9 ||%||1.1 ||%||44.0 ||%||100.0 ||%||59.4 ||%||40.6 ||%||100.0 ||%|
|Series G||54.9 ||%||1.1 ||%||44.0 ||%||100.0 ||%||59.4 ||%||40.6 ||%||100.0 ||%|
|Series H||54.9 ||%||1.1 ||%||44.0 ||%||100.0 ||%||59.4 ||%||40.6 ||%||100.0 ||%|
(1)100.0% of the ordinary dividend income is treated as Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) Section 199A qualified REIT dividend income. Treasury Regulation §1.199A-3(c)(2)(ii) requires that shareholders hold their REIT shares for at least 45 days in order for the dividends to be treated as Section 199A dividends.
(2)Represents our designation to shareholders of the capital gain dividend amounts for the year pursuant to IRC Section 857(b)(3)(B).
(3)Pursuant to Treasury Regulation §1.1061-6(c), the Company is disclosing additional information related to the capital gain dividends reported on Form 1099-DIV, Box 2a, Total Capital Gain Distributions for purposes of IRC Section 1061. IRC Section 1061 is generally applicable to direct and indirect holders of “applicable partnership interests.” The “One Year Amounts” and “Three Year Amounts” required to be disclosed are both zero with respect to the 2020 distributions, since all capital gain dividends relate to IRC Section 1231 gains. Shareholders should consult with their tax advisors to determine whether IRC Section 1061 applies to their capital gain dividends.
Stock Performance Graph
This performance graph shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be incorporated by reference into any filing by us under the Securities Act except as expressly set forth in such filing.
The following graph compares the cumulative total return on our Class A common shares from December 31, 2015 to the NYSE closing price per share on December 31, 2020, with the cumulative total returns on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Price Index (the “S&P 500”) and the MSCI U.S. REIT Index. The graph assumes the investment of $100 in our Class A common shares and each of the indices on December 31, 2015, and the reinvestment of all dividends. The return shown on the graph is not necessarily indicative of future performance.
Comparison of Cumulative Total Return
Among American Homes 4 Rent, the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI US REIT Index
The following table provides the same information in tabular form:
|American Homes 4 Rent||$||100.00 ||$||127.29 ||$||132.34 ||$||124.11 ||$||157.23 ||$||172.51 |
|S&P 500||$||100.00 ||$||109.54 ||$||128.95 ||$||122.72 ||$||151.60 ||$||167.85 |
|MSCI U.S. REIT||$||100.00 ||$||104.22 ||$||105.08 ||$||96.44 ||$||117.38 ||$||106.27 |
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements based upon our current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, those set forth under Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in this report.
This section of this Form 10-K generally discusses the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. A discussion of the year ended December 31, 2018 is available at Part II, “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
We are a Maryland REIT focused on acquiring, developing, renovating, leasing and operating single-family homes as rental properties. The Operating Partnership is the entity through which we conduct substantially all of our business and own, directly or through subsidiaries, substantially all of our assets. We commenced operations in November 2012.
As of December 31, 2020, we owned 53,584 single-family properties in selected sub-markets of metropolitan statistical areas (“MSAs”) in 22 states, including 711 properties held for sale, compared to 52,552 single-family properties in 22 states, including 1,187 properties held for sale, as of December 31, 2019. As of December 31, 2020, 51,271, or 97.0%, of our total properties (excluding properties held for sale) were occupied, compared to 48,767, or 94.9%, of our total properties (excluding properties held for sale) as of December 31, 2019. Also, as of December 31, 2020, the Company had an additional 1,293 properties held in unconsolidated joint ventures, compared to 808 properties held in unconsolidated joint ventures as of December 31, 2019. Our portfolio of single-family properties, including those held in our unconsolidated joint ventures, is internally managed through our proprietary property management platform.
COVID-19 Business Update
The Company has maintained continuity in business operations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and produced strong operating results in the fourth quarter of 2020 demonstrating the flexibility of its technology enabled operating platform and the resiliency of its high-quality, diversified portfolio. Comprehensive remote working policies remain in place for most corporate and field offices, and operational protocols have been tailored based on state and local mandates to ensure continuity of services, while protecting employees, residents and their families.
Driven by shifting housing preferences as households migrate away from city centers and apartments, the Company is experiencing record demand levels and reported its highest ever Same-Home portfolio Average Occupied Days Percentages for the fourth quarter of 2020 and January 2021. Additionally, as the Company entered the fourth quarter of 2020, it continued its return to normal operating practices, including the assessment of late fees, in jurisdictions where allowable, and modest renewal increases on expiring leases.
Collections continue to remain resilient throughout the pandemic. We have now received 96.7% of fourth quarter 2020 rental billings, which is consistent with pandemic payment histories within the same time frame. Additionally, collections of January 2021 rental billings continue to remain consistent with pandemic payment histories within the same time frame. Collections are reported without application of any existing resident security deposits or adjustment for deferred payment plans.
Although the Company has produced strong operating results to date during the COVID-19 pandemic, the extent to which the pandemic will ultimately impact us and our residents will depend on future developments which are highly uncertain. These include the scope, severity and duration of the pandemic, including resurgences, impact of government regulations, the speed and effectiveness of vaccine distribution and the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic and containment measures, among others.
For more information on risks related to COVID-19, see Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—We are subject to risks from the global pandemic associated with COVID-19 and we may in the future be subject to risks from other public health crises.”
Key Single-Family Property and Leasing Metrics
The following table summarizes certain key single-family properties metrics as of December 31, 2020:
Number of Single-Family Properties (1)
|% of Total Single-Family Properties||Gross Book Value (millions)||% of Gross Book Value Total||Avg. Gross Book Value per Property||Avg.|
|Avg. Property Age (years)||Avg. Year|
Purchased or Delivered
| Atlanta, GA ||4,977 ||9.4 ||%||$||922.2 ||9.2 ||%||$||185,301 ||2,165 ||17.4 ||2015|
| Dallas-Fort Worth, TX ||4,313 ||8.2 ||%||720.6 ||7.3 ||%||167,085 ||2,117 ||16.7 ||2014|
| Charlotte, NC ||3,811 ||7.2 ||%||756.6 ||7.6 ||%||198,541 ||2,100 ||16.2 ||2015|
| Phoenix, AZ ||3,147 ||6.0 ||%||566.1 ||5.6 ||%||179,899 ||1,837 ||17.2 ||2015|
| Houston, TX ||2,979 ||5.6 ||%||495.2 ||5.0 ||%||166,244 ||2,094 ||15.0 ||2014|
| Nashville, TN ||2,907 ||5.5 ||%||634.2 ||6.3 ||%||218,157 ||2,109 ||15.1 ||2015|
| Indianapolis, IN ||2,813 ||5.3 ||%||437.7 ||4.4 ||%||155,613 ||1,930 ||18.2 ||2013|
| Tampa, FL ||2,464 ||4.7 ||%||501.8 ||5.0 ||%||203,648 ||1,945 ||14.5 ||2015|
| Jacksonville, FL ||2,424 ||4.6 ||%||445.5 ||4.4 ||%||183,807 ||1,937 ||14.6 ||2015|
| Raleigh, NC ||2,118 ||4.0 ||%||396.7 ||4.0 ||%||187,288 ||1,878 ||15.4 ||2015|
| Columbus, OH ||2,062 ||3.9 ||%||361.8 ||3.6 ||%||175,438 ||1,870 ||18.9 ||2015|
| Cincinnati, OH ||1,982 ||3.7 ||%||351.7 ||3.5 ||%||177,441 ||1,852 ||18.4 ||2013|
| Greater Chicago area, IL and IN ||1,730 ||3.3 ||%||318.6 ||3.2 ||%||184,161 ||1,869 ||19.3 ||2013|
| Orlando, FL ||1,743 ||3.3 ||%||324.5 ||3.3 ||%||186,200 ||1,903 ||18.4 ||2015|
| Salt Lake City, UT ||1,595 ||3.0 ||%||416.2 ||4.0 ||%||260,946 ||2,182 ||16.9 ||2015|
| Charleston, SC ||1,238 ||2.3 ||%||252.9 ||2.6 ||%||204,280 ||1,971 ||12.3 ||2016|
| Las Vegas, NV ||1,127 ||2.1 ||%||215.1 ||2.0 ||%||190,839 ||1,854 ||16.5 ||2013|
| San Antonio, TX ||938 ||1.8 ||%||153.4 ||1.5 ||%||163,531 ||2,023 ||16.6 ||2014|
| Savannah/Hilton Head, SC ||917 ||1.7 ||%||168.7 ||1.7 ||%||183,967 ||1,871 ||12.8 ||2016|
| Denver, CO ||831 ||1.6 ||%||249.8 ||2.5 ||%||300,562 ||2,103 ||18.3 ||2015|
All Other (2)
|6,757 ||12.8 ||%||1,310.5 ||13.3 ||%||193,950 ||1,876 ||15.8 ||2015|
|Total/Average||52,873 ||100.0 ||%||$||9,999.8 ||100.0 ||%||$||189,129 ||1,987 ||16.4 ||2014|
(1)Excludes 711 single-family properties held for sale as of December 31, 2020.
(2)Represents 15 markets in 14 states.
The following table summarizes certain key leasing metrics as of December 31, 2020:
Total Single-Family Properties (1)
Avg. Occupied Days Percentage (2)
Avg. Monthly Realized Rent per property (3)
Avg. Original Lease Term (months) (4)
Avg. Remaining Lease Term (months) (4)
Avg. Blended Change in Rent (5)
|Atlanta, GA||96.0 ||%||$||1,666 ||12.0||6.1||3.9 ||%|
|Dallas-Fort Worth, TX||95.8 ||%||1,796 ||12.2||6.4||2.8 ||%|
|Charlotte, NC||96.3 ||%||1,644 ||12.3||6.4||3.2 ||%|
|Phoenix, AZ||97.4 ||%||1,509 ||12.0||6.0||6.5 ||%|
|Houston, TX||95.2 ||%||1,681 ||12.4||6.3||2.4 ||%|
|Nashville, TN||94.5 ||%||1,778 ||12.0||6.1||3.2 ||%|
|Indianapolis, IN||96.3 ||%||1,471 ||12.0||6.0||3.7 ||%|
|Tampa, FL||95.6 ||%||1,743 ||12.0||6.3||3.2 ||%|
|Jacksonville, FL||95.6 ||%||1,626 ||12.0||6.4||3.4 ||%|
|Raleigh, NC||95.1 ||%||1,577 ||12.3||6.5||2.8 ||%|
|Columbus, OH||97.3 ||%||1,694 ||12.0||6.1||3.9 ||%|
|Cincinnati, OH||96.9 ||%||1,654 ||11.9||6.4||3.9 ||%|
|Greater Chicago area, IL and IN||96.8 ||%||1,907 ||12.3||6.5||3.0 ||%|
|Orlando, FL||95.6 ||%||1,727 ||12.1||6.4||3.2 ||%|
|Salt Lake City, UT||96.5 ||%||1,834 ||12.1||6.5||4.4 ||%|
|Charleston, SC||95.0 ||%||1,753 ||12.0||6.5||3.3 ||%|
|Las Vegas, NV||95.9 ||%||1,632 ||12.0||6.8||4.7 ||%|
|San Antonio, TX||95.0 ||%||1,570 ||12.1||6.7||2.6 ||%|
|Savannah/Hilton Head, SC||95.5 ||%||1,603 ||12.0||6.5||3.1 ||%|
|Denver, CO||95.1 ||%||2,277 ||12.1||6.3||3.4 ||%|
All Other (6)
|96.3 ||%||1,659 ||12.1||6.4||3.8 ||%|
|Total/Average||96.0 ||%||$||1,683 ||12.1||6.3||3.6 ||%|
(1)Leasing information excludes 711 single-family properties held for sale as of December 31, 2020.
(2)For the year ended December 31, 2020, Average Occupied Days Percentage represents the number of days a property is occupied in the period divided by the total number of days the property is owned during the same period after initially being placed in-service.
(3)For the year ended December 31, 2020, Average Monthly Realized Rent is calculated as the lease component of rents and other single-family property revenues (i.e., rents from single-family properties) divided by the product of (a) number of properties and (b) Average Occupied Days Percentage, divided by the number of months. For properties partially owned during the year, this is adjusted to reflect the number of days of ownership.
(4)Average Original Lease Term and Average Remaining Lease Term are reflected as of period end.
(5)Represents the percentage change in rent on all non-month-to-month lease renewals and re-leases during the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the annual rent of the previously expired non-month-to-month comparable long-term lease for each property.
(6)Represents 15 markets in 14 states.
We believe these key single-family property and leasing metrics provide useful information to investors because they allow investors to understand the composition and performance of our properties on a market by market basis. Management also uses these metrics to understand the composition and performance of our properties at the market level.
Factors That Affect Our Results of Operations and Financial Condition
Our results of operations and financial condition are affected by numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control. Currently, the most significant factor impacting our results of operations and financial condition is the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is discussed above. Other key factors that impact our results of operations and financial condition include the pace at which we identify and acquire suitable land and properties, the time and cost required to renovate the acquired properties, the pace and cost of our property developments, the time to lease newly acquired or developed properties at acceptable rental rates, occupancy levels, rates of tenant turnover, the length of vacancy in properties between tenant leases, our expense ratios, our ability to raise capital and our capital structure.
Property Acquisitions, Development and Dispositions
Since our formation, we have rapidly but systematically grown our portfolio of single-family properties. Our ability to identify and acquire homes that meet our investment criteria is impacted by home prices in our target markets, the inventory of properties available-for-sale through traditional acquisition channels, competition for our target assets and our available capital. We are increasingly focused on developing “built-for-rental” homes through our internal AMH Development Program and acquiring newly constructed homes from third-party developers through our National Builder Program. Opportunities from these new construction channels are impacted by the availability of vacant developed lots, development land assets and inventory of homes
currently under construction or newly developed. Our level of investment activity has fluctuated based on the number of suitable opportunities and the level of capital available to invest. During the year ended December 31, 2020, we developed or acquired 2,103 homes, including 1,158 newly constructed properties delivered through our AMH Development Program and 945 homes acquired through our National Builder Program and traditional acquisition channel, partially offset by 1,047 homes sold and 24 homes contributed to unconsolidated joint ventures.
Our properties held for sale were identified based on sub-market analysis, as well as individual property-level operational review. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, there were 711 and 1,187 properties, respectively, classified as held for sale. We will continue to evaluate our properties for potential disposition going forward as a normal course of business.
Homes added to our portfolio through new construction channels include properties developed through our internal AMH Development Program and newly constructed properties acquired from third-party developers through our National Builder Program. Rental homes developed through our AMH Development Program involve substantial up-front costs, time to acquire and develop land, time to build the rental home, and time to lease the rental home before the home generates income. This process is dependent upon the nature of each lot acquired and the timeline varies primarily due to land development requirements. Once land development requirements have been met, on average it takes approximately four to six months to complete the rental home vertical construction process. However, delivery of homes may be staged to account for delays in demand. Our internal construction program is managed by our team of development professionals that oversee the full rental home construction process including all land development and work performed by subcontractors. We typically incur costs between $200,000 and $400,000 to acquire and develop land, and build a rental home. Homes added through our AMH Development Program are available for lease immediately upon or shortly after receipt of a certificate of occupancy. Rental homes acquired from third-party developers through our National Builder Program are dependent on the inventory of newly constructed homes and homes currently under construction.
Homes added to our portfolio through traditional acquisition channels require expenditures in addition to payment of the purchase price, including property inspections, closing costs, liens, title insurance, transfer taxes, recording fees, broker commissions, property taxes and HOA fees, when applicable. In addition, we typically incur costs between $15,000 and $30,000 to renovate a home acquired through traditional acquisition channels to prepare it for rental. Renovation work varies, but may include paint, flooring, cabinetry, appliances, plumbing hardware and other items required to prepare the home for rental. The time and cost involved to prepare our homes for rental can impact our financial performance and varies among properties based on several factors, including the source of acquisition channel and age and condition of the property. On average, it takes approximately 20 to 40 days to complete the renovation process.
Our operating results are also impacted by the amount of time it takes to market and lease a property, which can vary greatly among properties, and is impacted by local demand, our marketing techniques and the size of our available inventory. On average, it takes approximately 20 to 40 days to lease a property after acquiring or developing a new property through our new construction channels or after completing the renovation process for a traditionally acquired property. Lastly, our operating results are impacted by the length of stay of our tenants and the amount of time it takes to prepare and re-lease a property after a tenant vacates. This process, which we refer to as “turnover,” is impacted by numerous factors, including the condition of the home upon move-out of the previous tenant, and by local demand, our marketing techniques and the size of our available inventory at the time of the turnover. On average, it takes approximately 40 to 60 days to complete the turnover process.
Our revenues are derived primarily from rents collected from tenants for our single-family properties under lease agreements which typically have a term of one year. Our rental rates and occupancy levels are affected by macroeconomic factors and local and property-level factors, including market conditions, seasonality and tenant defaults, and the amount of time it takes to turn properties when tenants vacate. Additionally, our ability to collect revenues and related operating results are impacted by the credit worthiness and quality of our tenants. On average, our tenants have household incomes ranging from $70,000 to $110,000 and primarily consist of families with approximately two adults and one or more children.
Our rents and other single-family property revenues are comprised of rental revenue from single-family properties, fees from our single-family property rentals and “tenant charge-backs,” which are primarily related to cost recoveries on utilities.
Our ability to maintain and grow revenues from our existing portfolio of homes will be dependent on our ability to retain tenants and increase rental rates. Based on our Same-Home population of properties (defined below), the year-over-year increase in Average Monthly Realized Rent per property was 3.0% for the year ended December 31, 2020 and we experienced turnover rates of 33.1% and 36.9% for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we waived
month-to-month lease premiums and offered zero percent increases on newly signed renewal leases between April and July 2020 and then began to return to normal operating practices including modest renewal increases on expiring leases.
We monitor the following categories of expenses that we believe most significantly affect our results of operations.
Property Operating Expenses
Once a property is available for lease for the first time, which we refer to as “rent-ready,” we incur ongoing property-related expenses which may not be subject to our control. These include primarily property taxes, repairs and maintenance (“R&M”), turnover costs, HOA fees (when applicable) and insurance.
Property Management Expenses
As we internally manage our portfolio of single-family properties through our proprietary property management platform, we incur costs such as salary expenses for property management personnel, lease expenses and operating costs for property management offices and technology expenses for maintaining our property management platform. As part of developing our property management platform, we have made significant investments in our infrastructure, systems and technology. We believe that these investments will enable our property management platform to become more efficient over time, especially as our portfolio grows. Also included in property management expenses is noncash share-based compensation expense related to centralized and field property management employees.
We believe that our business and related operating results will be impacted by seasonal factors throughout the year. We experience higher levels of tenant move-outs and move-ins during the late spring and summer months, which impacts both our rental revenues and related turnover costs. Our property operating costs are seasonally impacted in certain markets for expenses such as HVAC repairs, turn costs and landscaping expenses during the summer season. Additionally, our single-family properties are at greater risk in certain markets for adverse weather conditions such as hurricanes in the late summer months and extreme cold weather in the winter months.
General and Administrative Expense
General and administrative expense primarily consists of corporate payroll and personnel costs, federal and state taxes, trustees’ and officers’ insurance expenses, audit and tax fees, trustee fees and other expenses associated with our corporate and administrative functions. Also included in general and administrative expense is noncash share-based compensation expense related to corporate administrative employees.
Results of Operations
Net income totaled $154.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $156.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. This decrease was primarily attributable to increased uncollectible rents and tenant utility reimbursements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a noncash write-down included in other expenses associated with the liquidation of legacy joint ventures, which were acquired as part of the American Residential Properties, Inc. (“ARPI”) merger in February 2016. This decrease was offset in part by growth in the Company’s portfolio and higher occupancy, as well as higher rental rates.
As we continue to grow our portfolio with a portion of our homes still recently developed, acquired and/or renovated, we distinguish our portfolio of homes between Same-Home properties and Non-Same-Home and Other properties in evaluating our operating performance. We classify a property as Same-Home if it has been stabilized longer than 90 days prior to the beginning of the earliest period presented under comparison and if it has not been classified as held for sale or taken out of service as a result of a casualty loss, which allows the performance of these properties to be compared between periods. Single-family properties that we acquire individually (i.e., not through a bulk purchase) are classified as either stabilized or non-stabilized. A property is classified as stabilized once it has been renovated by the Company or newly constructed and then initially leased or available for rent for a period greater than 90 days. Properties acquired through a bulk purchase are first considered non-stabilized, as an entire group, until (1) we have owned them for an adequate period of time to allow for complete on-boarding to our operating platform, and (2) a substantial portion of the properties have experienced tenant turnover at least once under our ownership, providing the opportunity for renovations and improvements to meet our property standards. After such time has passed, properties acquired through a bulk
purchase are then evaluated on an individual property basis under our standard stabilization criteria. All other properties, including those classified as held for sale or taken out of service as a result of a casualty loss, are classified as Non-Same-Home and Other.
One of the primary financial measures we use in evaluating the operating performance of our single-family properties is Core Net Operating Income (“Core NOI”), which we also present separately for our Same-Home portfolio. Core NOI is a supplemental non-GAAP financial measure that we define as core revenues, which is calculated as total revenues, excluding expenses reimbursed by tenant charge-backs and other revenues, less core property operating expenses, which is calculated as property operating and property management expenses, excluding noncash share-based compensation expense and expenses reimbursed by tenant charge-backs.
Core NOI also excludes (1) gain or loss on early extinguishment of debt, (2) hurricane-related charges, net, which result in material charges to the impacted single-family properties, (3) gain or loss on sales of single-family properties and other, (4) depreciation and amortization, (5) acquisition and other transaction costs incurred with business combinations and the acquisition or disposition of properties as well as nonrecurring items unrelated to ongoing operations, (6) noncash share-based compensation expense, (7) interest expense, (8) general and administrative expense, (9) other expenses and (10) other revenues. We believe Core NOI provides useful information to investors about the operating performance of our single-family properties without the impact of certain operating expenses that are reimbursed through tenant charge-backs.
Core NOI and Same-Home Core NOI should be considered only as supplements to net income or loss as a measure of our performance and should not be used as measures of our liquidity, nor are they indicative of funds available to fund our cash needs, including our ability to pay dividends or make distributions. Additionally, these metrics should not be used as substitutes for net income or loss or net cash flows from operating activities (as computed in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”)).
Comparison of the Year Ended December 31, 2020 to the Year Ended December 31, 2019
The following table presents a summary of Core NOI for our Same-Home properties, Non-Same-Home and Other properties, and total properties for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (in thousands):
| ||For the Year Ended December 31, 2020|
|Non-Same-Home and Other Properties||% of|
Rents from single-family properties (2)
|$||867,380 || ||$||150,442 || ||$||1,017,822 || |
Fees from single-family properties (2)
|13,350 || ||3,001 || ||16,351 || |
Bad debt (3)
|(18,709)|| ||(3,757)|| ||(22,466)|| |
|Core revenues||862,021 || ||149,686 || ||1,011,707 || |
|Property tax expense||152,703 ||17.7 ||%||27,437 ||18.3 ||%||180,140 ||17.8 ||%|
HOA fees, net (4)
|16,264 ||1.9 ||%||3,390 ||2.3 ||%||19,654 ||1.9 ||%|
R&M and turnover costs, net (4)(5)
|69,429 ||8.0 ||%||13,707 ||9.2 ||%||83,136 ||8.2 ||%|
|Insurance||7,977 ||0.9 ||%||1,715 ||1.1 ||%||9,692 ||1.0 ||%|
Property management expenses, net (6)
|69,500 ||8.1 ||%||15,485 ||10.3 ||%||84,985 ||8.4 ||%|
|Core property operating expenses||315,873 ||36.6 ||%||61,734 ||41.2 ||%||377,607 ||37.3 ||%|
|Core NOI||$||546,148 ||63.4 ||%||$||87,952 ||58.8 ||%||$||634,100 ||62.7 ||%|
| ||For the Year Ended December 31, 2019|
|Non-Same-Home and Other Properties||% of|
|Rents from single-family properties||$||834,267 || ||$||133,142 || ||$||967,409 || |
|Fees from single-family properties||11,579 || ||2,256 || ||13,835 || |
|Bad debt||(7,306)|| ||(1,652)|| ||(8,958)|| |
|Core revenues||838,540 || ||133,746 || ||972,286 || |
|Property tax expense||145,946 ||17.3 ||%||26,836 ||20.1 ||%||172,782 ||17.8 ||%|
HOA fees, net (4)
|17,232 ||2.0 ||%||3,236 ||2.4 ||%||20,468 ||2.1 ||%|
R&M and turnover costs, net (4)
|64,481 ||7.8 ||%||12,613 ||9.4 ||%||77,094 ||8.0 ||%|
|Insurance||7,576 ||0.9 ||%||1,447 ||1.1 ||%||9,023 ||0.9 ||%|
Property management expenses, net (6)
|67,707 ||8.1 ||%||12,495 ||9.3 ||%||80,202 ||8.2 ||%|
|Core property operating expenses||302,942 ||36.1 ||%||56,627 ||42.3 ||%||359,569 ||37.0 ||%|
|Core NOI||$||535,598 ||63.9 ||%||$||77,119 ||57.7 ||%||$||612,717 ||63.0 ||%|
(1)Includes 44,663 properties that have been stabilized longer than 90 days prior to January 1, 2019.
(2)As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, rents from single-family properties were impacted by the Company’s socially responsible decisions between April and July 2020 to waive month-to-month lease premiums and offer zero percent increases on newly signed renewal leases. Fees from single-family properties were also impacted as the Company waived late fees between April and July 2020.
(3)Includes increased uncollectible rents related to the COVID-19 pandemic of $12.8 million and $11.1 million for the total portfolio and Same-Home portfolio, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2020.
(4)Presented net of tenant charge-backs.
(5)Includes increased uncollectible tenant utility reimbursements of $2.8 million and $2.6 million and costs associated with enhanced cleaning and safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic of $0.5 million and $0.4 million for the total portfolio and Same-Home portfolio, respectively, during the year ended December 31, 2020.
(6)Presented net of tenant charge-backs and excludes noncash share-based compensation expense related to centralized and field property management employees.
The following are reconciliations of core revenues, Same-Home core revenues, core property operating expenses, Same-Home core property operating expenses, Core NOI and Same-Home Core NOI to their respective GAAP metrics for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (amounts in thousands):
|For the Years Ended December 31,|
|Core revenues and Same-Home core revenues|
|Total revenues||$||1,182,836 ||$||1,143,378 |
|Core revenues||1,011,707 ||972,286 |
|Less: Non-Same-Home core revenues||149,686 ||133,746 |
|Same-Home core revenues||$||862,021 ||$||838,540 |
|Core property operating expenses and Same-Home core property operating expenses|
|Property operating expenses||$||450,267 ||$||433,854 |
|Property management expenses||89,892 ||86,908 |
|Noncash share-based compensation - property management||(1,745)||(1,342)|
|Expenses reimbursed by tenant charge-backs||(160,807)||(159,851)|
|Core property operating expenses||377,607 ||359,569 |
|Less: Non-Same-Home core property operating expenses||61,734 ||56,627 |
|Same-Home core property operating expenses||$||315,873 ||$||302,942 |
|Core NOI and Same-Home Core NOI|
|Net income||$||154,829 ||$||156,260 |
|Loss on early extinguishment of debt||— ||659 |
|Gain on sale of single-family properties and other, net||(44,194)||(43,873)|
|Depreciation and amortization||343,153 ||329,293 |
|Acquisition and other transaction costs||9,298 ||3,224 |
|Noncash share-based compensation - property management||1,745 ||1,342 |
|Interest expense||117,038 |