10-K 1 form10-k.htm

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

[X] ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
   
  For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017

 

[  ] TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
   
  For the transition period                                to                               

 

Commission File Number 001-12690

 

UMH Properties, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Maryland   22-1890929
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
   (I.R.S. Employer
identification number)

 

3499 Route 9, Suite 3C, Freehold, New Jersey   07728
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (732) 577-9997

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Common Stock $.10 par value-New York Stock Exchange

8.0% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock $.10 par value per share, $25 liquidation value per share – New York Stock Exchange

6.75% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock $.10 par value per share, $25 liquidation value per share – New York Stock Exchange

6.375% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock $.10 par value per share, $25 liquidation value per share – 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. [  ] Yes [X] No

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. [  ] Yes [X] No

 

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. [X] Yes [  ] No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files). [X] Yes No [  ]

 

Indicate by check if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K [X].

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

  Large accelerated filer [  ]   Accelerated filer   [X]
  Non-accelerated filer [  ] (Do not check if a smaller   Smaller reporting company   [  ]
      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. [  ]

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). [  ] Yes [X] No

 

Based upon the assumption that directors and executive officers of the registrant are not affiliates of the registrant, the aggregate market value of the voting stock of the registrant held by nonaffiliates of the registrant at June 30, 2017 was $570,225,929. Presuming that such directors and executive officers are affiliates of the registrant, the aggregate market value of the voting stock of the registrant held by nonaffiliates of the registrant at June 30, 2017 was $522,718,594.

 

The number of shares outstanding of issuer’s common stock as of February 28, 2018 was 36,070,968 shares.

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference:

 

-Part III incorporates certain information by reference from the Registrant’s proxy statement for the 2018 annual meeting of stockholders, which will be filed no later than 120 days after the close of the Registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

 

-Exhibits incorporated by reference are listed in Part IV; Item 15 (a) (3).

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I 3
Item 1 – Business 3
Real Estate Industry Risks 6
Financing Risks 10
Other Risks 15
Item 1B – Unresolved Staff Comments 18
Item 3 – Legal Proceedings 26
Item 4 – Mine Safety Disclosures 26
PART II 26
Item 5 – Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 26
Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 30
Item 7A – Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk 45
Item 8 – Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 46
Item 9 – Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 46
Item 9A – Controls and Procedures 47
Item 9B – Other Information 50
PART III 53
Item 10 – Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 53
Item 11 – Executive Compensation 56
Item 12 – Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 72
Item 14 – Principal Accounting Fees and Services 75
PART IV 77
Item 15 – Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 77
Item 16 – Form 10-K Summary 81
SIGNATURES 131

 

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PART I

 

Item 1 – Business

 

General Development of Business

 

UMH Properties, Inc. (“UMH”), together with its predecessors and consolidated subsidiaries, are referred to herein as “we”, “us”, “our”, or “the Company”, unless the context requires otherwise.

 

UMH is a self-administered and self-managed qualified real estate investment trust (“REIT”) under Sections 856-860 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). The Company had elected REIT status effective January 1, 1992 and intends to maintain its qualification as a REIT in the future. As a qualified REIT, with limited exceptions, the Company will not be taxed under Federal and certain state income tax laws at the corporate level on taxable income that it distributes to its shareholders. For special tax provisions applicable to REITs, refer to Sections 856-860 of the Code.

 

The Company was incorporated in the state of New Jersey in 1968. On September 29, 2003, the Company changed its state of incorporation from New Jersey to Maryland by merging with and into a Maryland corporation.

 

Narrative Description of Business

 

The Company’s primary business is the ownership and operation of manufactured home communities – leasing manufactured homesites to private manufactured home owners. The Company also leases homes to residents, and through its wholly-owned taxable REIT subsidiary, UMH Sales and Finance, Inc. (“S&F”), conducts manufactured home sales in its communities.

 

As of December 31, 2017, the Company owns and operates 112 manufactured home communities containing approximately 20,000 developed homesites. These communities are located in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan and Maryland.

 

A manufactured home community is designed to accommodate detached, single-family manufactured homes. These manufactured homes are produced off-site by manufacturers and installed on sites within the communities. These homes may be improved with the addition of features constructed on-site, including garages, screened rooms and carports. Manufactured homes are available in a variety of designs and floor plans, offering many amenities and custom options. Each manufactured home owner leases the site on which the home is located from the Company. The Company owns the underlying land, utility connections, streets, lighting, driveways, common area amenities and other capital improvements and are responsible for enforcement of community guidelines and maintenance.

 

Manufactured homes are accepted by the public as a viable and economically attractive alternative to common stick-built single-family housing. The affordability of the modern manufactured home makes it a very attractive housing alternative. Depending on the region of the country, construction cost per square foot for a new manufactured home averages anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less than a comparable site-built home, excluding the cost of land. This is due to a number of factors, including volume purchase discounts and inventory control of construction materials and control of all aspects of the construction process, which is generally a more efficient and stream-lined process as compared to a site-built home.

 

Modern residential land lease communities are similar to typical residential subdivisions containing central entrances, paved well-lit streets, curbs and gutters. Generally, modern manufactured home communities contain buildings for recreation, green areas, and other common area facilities, all of which are the property of the community owner. In addition to such general improvements, certain manufactured home communities include recreational improvements such as swimming pools, tennis courts and playgrounds. Municipal water and sewer services are available in some manufactured home communities, while other communities supply these facilities on-site.

 

Typically, our leases are on an annual or month-to-month basis, renewable upon the consent of both parties. The community manager interviews prospective residents, collects rent and finance payments, ensures compliance with community regulations, maintains public areas and community facilities and is responsible for the overall appearance of the community. The homeowner is responsible for the maintenance of the home and leased site. As a result, our capital expenditures tend to be less significant relative to multi-family rental apartments. Manufactured home communities produce predictable income streams and provide protection from inflation due to the ability to annually increase rents.

 

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Many of our communities compete with other manufactured home community properties located in the same or nearby markets that are owned and operated by other companies in our business. We generally monitor the rental rates and other terms being offered by our competitors and consider this information as a factor in determining our own rental rates. In addition to competing with other manufactured home community properties, our communities also compete with alternative forms of housing (such as apartments and single-family homes).

 

In connection with the operation of its communities, UMH also leases homes to prospective tenants. As of December 31, 2017, UMH owned a total of 5,600 rental homes, representing approximately 28% of its developed homesites. These rental homes are owned by the Company and rented to residents. The Company engages in the rental of manufactured homes primarily in areas where the communities have existing vacancies. The rental homes produce income from both the home and the site which might otherwise be non-income producing. The Company sells the rental homes when the opportunity arises.

 

Inherent in the operation of a manufactured home community is the development, redevelopment, and expansion of our communities. The Company sells and finances the sale of manufactured homes in our communities through S&F. S&F was established to potentially enhance the value of our communities. The home sales business is operated like other homebuilders with sales centers, model homes, an inventory of completed homes and the ability to supply custom designed homes based upon the requirements of the new homeowners.

 

Investment and Other Policies

 

The Company may invest in improved and unimproved real property and may develop unimproved real property. Such properties may be located throughout the United States, but the Company has concentrated on the Northeast. Since 2010, we have tripled the size of our property portfolio from 28 communities with approximately 6,800 developed homesites to 112 communities with over 20,000 developed homesites. We are focused on acquiring communities with significant upside potential and leveraging our expertise to build long-term capital appreciation.

 

The Company seeks to finance acquisitions with the most appropriate available source of capital, including purchase money mortgages or other financing, which may be first liens, wraparound mortgages or subordinated indebtedness, sales of investments, and issuance of additional equity securities. In connection with its ongoing activities, the Company may issue notes, mortgages or other senior securities. The Company intends to use both secured and unsecured lines of credit.

 

The Company may issue securities for property; however, this has not occurred to date. The Company may repurchase or reacquire its shares from time to time if, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, such acquisition is advantageous to the Company. No shares were repurchased or reacquired during 2017 and, as of December 31, 2017, the Company does not own any of its own shares.

 

The Company also owns a portfolio of marketable REIT securities, which the Company generally limits to no more than approximately 20% of its undepreciated assets (which is the Company’s total assets excluding accumulated depreciation). These liquid real estate holdings provide diversification, additional liquidity and income, and serves as a proxy for real estate when more favorable risk adjusted returns are not available. The Company, from time to time, may purchase these securities on margin when the interest and dividend yields exceed the cost of funds. As of December 31, 2017, the Company had borrowings of $37,157,467 under its margin line at 2.0% interest. The REIT securities portfolio is subject to risk arising from adverse changes in market rates and prices, primarily interest rate risk and market price risk relating to equity securities. From time to time, the Company may use derivative instruments to mitigate interest rate risk; however, this has not occurred during any periods presented. At December 31, 2017 and 2016, the Company had $132,964,276 and $108,755,172, respectively, of securities available for sale. Included in these securities are Preferred Stock of $5,377,522 and $13,028,200 at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The realized net gain on securities available for sale at December 31, 2017 and 2016 amounted to $1,747,528 and $2,285,301, respectively. The unrealized net gain on securities available for sale at December 31, 2017 and 2016 amounted to $11,519,582 and $16,717,171, respectively.

 

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Regulations, Insurance and Property Maintenance and Improvement

 

Manufactured home communities are subject to various laws, ordinances and regulations, including regulations relating to recreational facilities such as swimming pools, clubhouses and other common areas, and regulations relating to operating water and wastewater treatment facilities at certain of our communities. We believe that each community has all material operating permits and approvals.

 

Our properties are insured against risks that may cause property damage and business interruption including events such as fire, business interruption, general liability and if applicable, flood. Our insurance policies contain deductible requirements, coverage limits and particular exclusions. It is the policy of the Company to maintain adequate insurance coverage on all of our properties; and, in the opinion of management, all of our properties are adequately insured. We also obtain title insurance insuring fee title to the properties in an aggregate amount which we believe to be adequate.

 

It is the policy of the Company to properly maintain, modernize, expand and make improvements to its properties when required. The Company anticipates that renovation expenditures with respect to its present properties during 2018 will be approximately $10 million.

 

Number of Employees

 

As of February 28, 2018, the Company had approximately 340 employees, including Officers. During the year, the Company hires approximately 50 part-time and full-time temporary employees as grounds keepers, lifeguards, and for emergency repairs.

 

Segment Reporting and Financial Information

 

Management views the Company as a single segment based on its method of internal reporting in addition to its allocation of capital and resources. For required financial information related to our operations and assets, please refer to our consolidated financial statements, including the notes thereto, included in Item 8 “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” in this Annual Report.

 

Available Information

 

Additional information about the Company can be found on the Company’s website which is located at www.umh.reit. Information contained on or hyperlinked from our website is not incorporated by reference into and should not be considered part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The Company makes available, free of charge, on or through its website, annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. You can also read and copy any materials the Company files with the SEC at its Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549 (1-800-SEC-0330). The SEC maintains an Internet site (http://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

 

Our business faces many risks. The following risk factors may not be the only risks we face but address what we believe may be the material risks concerning our business at this time. If any of the risks discussed in this report were to occur, our business, prospects, financial condition, results of operation and our ability to service our debt and make distributions to our shareholders could be materially and adversely affected and the market price per share of our stock could decline significantly. Some statements in this report, including statements in the following risk factors, constitute forward-looking statements. Please refer to the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

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Real Estate Industry Risks

 

General economic conditions and the concentration of our properties in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan and Maryland may affect our ability to generate sufficient revenue. The market and economic conditions in our current markets may significantly affect manufactured home occupancy or rental rates. Occupancy and rental rates, in turn, may significantly affect our revenues, and if our communities do not generate revenues sufficient to meet our operating expenses, including debt service and capital expenditures, our cash flow and ability to pay or refinance our debt obligations could be adversely affected. As a result of the geographic concentration of our properties in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan and Maryland, we are exposed to the risks of downturns in the local economy or other local real estate market conditions which could adversely affect occupancy rates, rental rates, and property values in these markets.

 

Other factors that may affect general economic conditions or local real estate conditions include:

 

  the national and local economic climate, including that of the energy-market dependent Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, may be adversely impacted by, among other factors, plant closings, and industry slowdowns;
     
  local real estate market conditions such as the oversupply of manufactured homesites or a reduction in demand for manufactured homesites in an area;
     
  the number of repossessed homes in a particular market;
     
  the lack of an established dealer network;
     
  the rental market which may limit the extent to which rents may be increased to meet increased expenses without decreasing occupancy rates;
     
  the safety, convenience and attractiveness of our properties and the neighborhoods where they are located;
     
  zoning or other regulatory restrictions;
     
  competition from other available manufactured home communities and alternative forms of housing (such as apartment buildings and single-family homes);
     
  our ability to provide adequate management, maintenance and insurance;
     
  increased operating costs, including insurance premiums, real estate taxes and utilities; and
     
  the enactment of rent control laws or laws taxing the owners of manufactured homes.

 

Our income would also be adversely affected if tenants were unable to pay rent or if sites were unable to be rented on favorable terms. If we were unable to promptly relet or renew the leases for a significant number of sites, or if the rental rates upon such renewal or reletting were significantly lower than expected rates, then our business and results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, certain expenditures associated with each property (such as real estate taxes and maintenance costs) generally are not reduced when circumstances cause a reduction in income from the property.

 

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We may be unable to compete with our larger competitors for acquisitions, which may increase prices for communities. The real estate business is highly competitive. We compete for manufactured home community investments with numerous other real estate entities, such as individuals, corporations, REITs and other enterprises engaged in real estate activities. In many cases, the competing concerns may be larger and better financed than we are, making it difficult for us to secure new manufactured home community investments. Competition among private and institutional purchasers of manufactured home community investments has resulted in increases in the purchase price paid for manufactured home communities and consequently higher fixed costs. To the extent we are unable to effectively compete in the marketplace, our business may be adversely affected.

 

We may not be able to integrate or finance our acquisitions and our acquisitions may not perform as expected. We acquire and intend to continue to acquire manufactured home communities on a select basis. Our acquisition activities and their success are subject to risks, including the following:

 

  if we enter into an acquisition agreement for a property, it is usually subject to customary conditions to closing, including completion of due diligence investigations to our satisfaction, which may not be satisfied;
     
  we may be unable to finance acquisitions on favorable terms;
     
  acquired properties may fail to perform as expected;
     
  the actual costs of repositioning or redeveloping acquired properties may be higher than our estimates;
     
  acquired properties may be located in new markets where we face risks associated with a lack of market knowledge or understanding of the local economy, lack of business relationships in the area and unfamiliarity with local governmental and permitting procedures; and
     
  we may be unable to quickly and efficiently integrate new acquisitions, particularly acquisitions of portfolios of properties, into our existing operations.

 

If any of the above were to occur, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

In addition, we may acquire properties subject to liabilities and without any recourse, or with only limited recourse, with respect to unknown liabilities. As a result, if a liability were to be asserted against us based upon ownership of those properties, we might have to pay substantial sums to settle it, which could adversely affect our cash flow.

 

We may be unable to accurately estimate and anticipate costs and timing associated with expansion activities. We periodically consider expansion of communities. Our expansion activities are subject to risks such as: construction costs exceeding original estimates, construction and lease-up interruptions resulting in increased construction costs, and lower than anticipated occupancy and rental rates causing a property to be unprofitable or less profitable than prior to the expansion.

 

We may be unable to sell properties when appropriate because real estate investments are illiquid. Real estate investments generally cannot be sold quickly and, therefore, will tend to limit our ability to vary our property portfolio promptly in response to changes in economic or other conditions. In addition, the Code limits our ability to sell our properties. The inability to respond promptly to changes in the performance of our property portfolio could adversely affect our financial condition and ability to service our debt and make distributions to our stockholders.

 

Our ability to sell manufactured homes may be affected by various factors, which may in turn adversely affect our profitability. S&F operates in the manufactured home market offering homes for sale to tenants and prospective tenants of our communities. The market for the sale of manufactured homes may be adversely affected by the following factors:

 

  downturns in economic conditions which adversely impact the housing market;
     
  an oversupply of, or a reduced demand for, manufactured homes;

 

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  the ability of manufactured home manufacturers to adapt to change in the economic climate and the availability of units from these manufacturers;
     
  the difficulty facing potential purchasers in obtaining affordable financing as a result of heightened lending criteria; and
     
  an increase or decrease in the rate of manufactured home repossessions which provide aggressively priced competition to new manufactured home sales.

 

Any of the above listed factors could adversely impact our rate of manufactured home sales, which would result in a decrease in profitability.

 

Licensing laws and compliance could affect our profitability. We are subject to the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (“SAFE Act”), which requires that we obtain appropriate licenses pursuant to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry in each state where we conduct business. There are extensive federal and state requirements mandated by the SAFE Act and other laws pertaining to financing, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), and there can be no assurance that we will obtain or renew our SAFE Act licenses, which could result in fees and penalties and have an adverse impact on our ability to continue with our home financing activities.

 

Costs associated with taxes and regulatory compliance may reduce our revenue. We are subject to significant regulation that inhibits our activities and may increase our costs. Local zoning and use laws, environmental statutes and other governmental requirements may restrict expansion, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities. These regulations may prevent us from taking advantage of economic opportunities. Legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act may require us to modify our properties at a substantial cost and noncompliance could result in the imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants. Future legislation may impose additional requirements. We cannot predict what requirements may be enacted or amended or what costs we will incur to comply with such requirements. Costs resulting from changes in real estate laws, income taxes, service or other taxes may adversely affect our funds from operations and our ability to pay or refinance our debt. Similarly, changes in laws increasing the potential liability for environmental conditions existing on properties or increasing the restrictions on discharges or other conditions may result in significant unanticipated expenditures, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

Laws and regulations also govern the provision of utility services. Such laws regulate, for example, how and to what extent owners or operators of property can charge renters for provision of utilities. Such laws can also regulate the operations and performance of utility systems and may impose fines and penalties on real property owners or operators who fail to comply with these requirements. The laws and regulations may also require capital investment to maintain compliance.

 

Rent control legislation may harm our ability to increase rents. State and local rent control laws in certain jurisdictions may limit our ability to increase rents and to recover increases in operating expenses and the costs of capital improvements. Currently, rent control affects only two of our manufactured home communities, both of which are in New Jersey, and has resulted in slower growth of earnings from these properties. However, we may purchase additional properties in markets that are either subject to rent control or in which rent-limiting legislation exists or may be enacted.

 

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Environmental liabilities could affect our profitability. Under various federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations, an owner or operator of real estate is liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous substances at, on, under or in such property, as well as certain other potential costs relating to hazardous or toxic substances. Such laws often impose such liability without regard to whether the owner knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous substances. A conveyance of the property, therefore, does not relieve the owner or operator from liability. As a current or former owner and operator of real estate, we may be required by law to investigate and clean up hazardous substances released at or from the properties we currently own or operate or have in the past owned or operated. We may also be liable to the government or to third parties for property damage, investigation costs and cleanup costs. In addition, some environmental laws create a lien on the contaminated site in favor of the government for damages and costs the government incurs in connection with the contamination. Contamination may adversely affect our ability to sell or lease real estate or to borrow using the real estate as collateral. Persons who arrange for the disposal or treatment of hazardous substances also may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of such substances at a disposal or treatment facility owned or operated by another person. In addition, certain environmental laws impose liability for the management and disposal of asbestos-containing materials and for the release of such materials into the air. These laws may provide for third parties to seek recovery from owners or operators of real properties for personal injury associated with asbestos-containing materials. In connection with the ownership, operation, management, and development of real properties, we may be considered an owner or operator of such properties and, therefore, are potentially liable for removal or remediation costs, and also may be liable for governmental fines and injuries to persons and property. When we arrange for the treatment or disposal of hazardous substances at landfills or other facilities owned by other persons, we may be liable for the removal or remediation costs at such facilities. We are not aware of any environmental liabilities relating to our investment properties which would have a material adverse effect on our business, assets, or results of operations. However, we cannot assure you that environmental liabilities will not arise in the future and that such liabilities will not have a material adverse effect on our business, assets or results of operation.

 

Of the 112 manufactured home communities we currently operate, forty-two have their own wastewater treatment facility or water distribution system, or both. At these locations, we are subject to compliance with monthly, quarterly and yearly testing for contaminants as outlined by the individual state’s Department of Environmental Protection Agencies. Currently, we are not subject to radon or asbestos monitoring requirements.

 

Additionally, in connection with the management of the properties or upon acquisition or financing of a property, the Company authorizes the preparation of Phase I or similar environmental reports (which involves general inspections without soil sampling or ground water analysis) completed by independent environmental consultants. Based upon such environmental reports and the Company’s ongoing review of its properties, as of the date of this Annual Report, the Company is not aware of any environmental condition with respect to any of its properties which it believes would be reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on its financial condition and/or results of operations. However, these reports cannot reflect conditions arising after the studies were completed, and no assurances can be given that existing environmental studies reveal all environmental liabilities, that any prior owner or operator of a property or neighboring owner or operator did not create any material environmental condition not known to us, or that a material environmental condition does not otherwise exist as to any one or more properties.

 

Some of our properties are subject to potential natural or other disasters. Certain of our manufactured home communities are located in areas that may be subject to natural disasters, including our manufactured home communities in flood plains or in areas that may be adversely affected by tornados, as well as our manufactured home communities in coastal regions that may be adversely affected by increases in sea levels or in the frequency or severity of hurricanes, tropical storms or other severe weather conditions. The occurrence of natural disasters may delay redevelopment or development projects, increase investment costs to repair or replace damaged properties, increase future property insurance costs and negatively impact the tenant demand for lease space. To the extent insurance is unavailable to us or is unavailable on acceptable terms, or our insurance is not adequate to cover losses from these events, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

Actions by our competitors may decrease or prevent increases in the occupancy and rental rates of our properties which could adversely affect our business. We compete with other owners and operators of manufactured home community properties, some of which own properties similar to ours in the same submarkets in which our properties are located. The number of competitive manufactured home community properties in a particular area could have a material adverse effect on our ability to attract tenants, lease sites and maintain or increase rents charged at our properties or at any newly acquired properties. In addition, other forms of multi-family residential properties, such as private and federally funded or assisted multi-family housing projects and single-family housing, provide housing alternatives to potential tenants of manufactured home communities. If our competitors offer housing at rental rates below current market rates or below the rental rates we currently charge our tenants, we may lose potential tenants, and we may be pressured to reduce our rental rates below those we currently charge in order to retain tenants when our tenants’ leases expire. As a result, our financial condition, cash flow, cash available for distribution, and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations could be materially adversely affected.

 

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Losses in excess of our insurance coverage or uninsured losses could adversely affect our cash flow. We generally maintain insurance policies related to our business, including casualty, general liability and other policies covering business operations, employees and assets. However, we may be required to bear all losses that are not adequately covered by insurance. In addition, there are certain losses that are not generally insured because it is not economically feasible to insure against them, including losses due to riots, acts of war or other catastrophic events. If an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits occurs with respect to one or more of our properties, then we could lose the capital we invested in the properties, as well as the anticipated profits and cash flow from the properties and, in the case of debt which is with recourse to us, we would remain obligated for any mortgage debt or other financial obligations related to the properties. Although we believe that our insurance programs are adequate, no assurance can be given that we will not incur losses in excess of its insurance coverage, or that we will be able to obtain insurance in the future at acceptable levels and reasonable cost.

 

Our investments are concentrated in the manufactured housing/residential sector and our business would be adversely affected by an economic downturn in that sector. Our investments in real estate assets are primarily concentrated in the manufactured housing/residential sector. This concentration may expose us to the risk of economic downturns in this sector to a greater extent than if our business activities included a more significant portion of other sectors of the real estate industry.

 

Financing Risks

 

We face risks generally associated with our debt. We finance a portion of our investments in properties and marketable securities through debt. We are subject to the risks normally associated with debt financing, including the risk that our cash flow will be insufficient to meet required payments of principal and interest. In addition, debt creates other risks, including:

 

  rising interest rates on our variable rate debt;
     
  inability to repay or refinance existing debt as it matures, which may result in forced disposition of assets on disadvantageous terms;
     
  refinancing terms less favorable than the terms of existing debt; and
     
  failure to meet required payments of principal and/or interest.

 

We mortgage our properties, which subjects us to the risk of foreclosure in the event of non-payment. We mortgage many of our properties to secure payment of indebtedness. If we are unable to meet mortgage payments, then the property could be foreclosed upon or transferred to the mortgagee with a consequent loss of income and asset value. A foreclosure of one or more of our properties could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, ability to service debt and make distributions and the market price of our preferred and common stock and any other securities we issue.

 

We face risks related to “balloon payments” and refinancings. Certain of our mortgages will have significant outstanding principal balances on their maturity dates, commonly known as “balloon payments.” There can be no assurance that we will be able to refinance the debt on favorable terms or at all. To the extent we cannot refinance debt on favorable terms or at all, we may be forced to dispose of properties on disadvantageous terms or pay higher interest rates, either of which would have an adverse impact on our financial performance and ability to service debt and make distributions.

 

We face risks associated with our dependence on external sources of capital. In order to qualify as a REIT, we are required each year to distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, and we are subject to tax on our income to the extent it is not distributed. Because of this distribution requirement, we may not be able to fund all future capital needs from cash retained from operations. As a result, to fund capital needs, we rely on third-party sources of capital, which we may not be able to obtain on favorable terms, if at all. Our access to third-party sources of capital depends upon a number of factors, including (i) general market conditions; (ii) the market’s perception of our growth potential; (iii) our current and potential future earnings and cash distributions; and (iv) the market price of our preferred and common stock. Additional debt financing may substantially increase our debt-to-total capitalization ratio. Additional equity issuance may dilute the holdings of our current stockholders.

 

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We may become more highly leveraged, resulting in increased risk of default on our obligations and an increase in debt service requirements which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions. We have incurred, and may continue to incur, indebtedness in furtherance of our activities. Our governing documents do not limit the amount of indebtedness we may incur. Accordingly, our Board of Directors may vote to incur additional debt and would do so, for example, if it were necessary to maintain our status as a REIT. We could therefore become more highly leveraged, resulting in an increased risk of default on our obligations and in an increase in debt service requirements, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to stockholders.

 

Fluctuations in interest rates could materially affect our financial results. Because a portion of our debt bears interest at variable rates, increases in interest rates could materially increase our interest expense. If the United States Federal Reserve increases short-term interest rates, this may have a significant upward impact on shorter-term interest rates, including the interest rates that our variable rate debt is based upon. Potential future increases in interest rates and credit spreads may increase our interest expense and therefore negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations, and reduce our access to the debt or equity capital markets.

 

Covenants in our credit agreements could limit our flexibility and adversely affect our financial condition. The terms of our various credit agreements and other indebtedness require us to comply with a number of customary financial and other covenants, such as maintaining debt service coverage and leverage ratios and maintaining insurance coverage. These covenants may limit our flexibility in our operations, and breaches of these covenants could result in defaults under the instruments governing the applicable indebtedness even if we had satisfied our payment obligations. If we were to default under our credit agreements, our financial condition would be adversely affected.

 

A change in the United States government policy with regard to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could impact our financial condition. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are a major source of financing for the manufactured housing real estate sector. We depend frequently on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to finance growth by purchasing or guaranteeing manufactured housing community loans. We do not know when or if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will restrict their support of lending to our real estate sector or to us in particular. A decision by the government to eliminate Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or reduce their acquisitions or guarantees of our mortgage loans, may adversely affect interest rates, capital availability and our ability to refinance our existing mortgage obligations as they come due and obtain additional long-term financing for the acquisition of additional communities on favorable terms or at all.

 

We face risks associated with the financing of home sales to customers in our manufactured home communities. To produce new rental revenue and to upgrade our communities, we sell homes to customers in our communities at competitive prices and finance these home sales through S&F. We allow banks and outside finance companies the first opportunity to finance these sales. We are subject to the following risks in financing these homes:

 

  the borrowers may default on these loans and not be able to make debt service payments or pay principal when due;
     
  the default rates may be higher than we anticipate;
     
  demand for consumer financing may not be as great as we anticipate or may decline;
     
  the value of property securing the installment notes receivable may be less than the amounts owed; and
     
  interest rates payable on the installment notes receivable may be lower than our cost of funds.

 

Additionally, there are many regulations pertaining to our home sales and financing activities. There are significant consumer protection laws and the regulatory framework may change in a manner which may adversely affect our operating results. The regulatory environment and associated consumer finance laws create a risk of greater liability from our home sales and financing activities and could subject us to additional litigation. We are also dependent on licenses granted by state and other regulatory authorities, which may be withdrawn or which may not be renewed and which could have an adverse impact on our ability to continue with our home sales and financing activities.

 

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Risks Related to our Status as a REIT

 

If our leases are not respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes, we would fail to qualify as a REIT. To qualify as a REIT, we must, among other things, satisfy two gross income tests, under which specified percentages of our gross income must be passive income, such as rent. For the rent paid pursuant to our leases, to qualify for purposes of the gross income tests, the leases must be respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes and not be treated as service contracts, joint ventures or some other type of arrangement. We believe that our leases will be respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes. However, there can be no assurance that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) will agree with this view. If the leases are not respected as true leases for federal income tax purposes, we would not be able to satisfy either of the two gross income tests applicable to REITs, and we could lose our REIT status.

 

Failure to make required distributions would subject us to additional tax. In order to qualify as a REIT, we must, among other requirements, distribute, each year, to our stockholders at least 90% of our taxable income, excluding net capital gains. To the extent that we satisfy the 90% distribution requirement, but distribute less than 100% of our taxable income, we will be subject to federal corporate income tax on our undistributed income. In addition, we will incur a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which our distributions (or deemed distributions) in any year are less than the sum of:

 

  85% of our ordinary income for that year;
     
  95% of our capital gain net earnings for that year; and
     
  100% of our undistributed taxable income from prior years.

 

To the extent we pay out in excess of 100% of our taxable income for any tax year, we may be able to carry forward such excess to subsequent years to reduce our required distributions for purposes of the 4% nondeductible excise tax in such subsequent years. We intend to pay out our income to our stockholders in a manner intended to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement. Differences in timing between the recognition of income and the related cash receipts or the effect of required debt amortization payments could require us to borrow money or sell assets to pay out enough of our taxable income to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement and to avoid corporate income tax.

 

We may not have sufficient cash available from operations to pay distributions to our stockholders, and, therefore, distributions may be made from borrowings. The actual amount and timing of distributions to our stockholders will be determined by our Board of Directors in its discretion and typically will depend on the amount of cash available for distribution, which will depend on items such as current and projected cash requirements, limitations on distributions imposed by law on our financing arrangements and tax considerations. As a result, we may not have sufficient cash available from operations to pay distributions as required to maintain our status as a REIT. Therefore, we may need to borrow funds to make sufficient cash distributions in order to maintain our status as a REIT, which may cause us to incur additional interest expense as a result of an increase in borrowed funds for the purpose of paying distributions.

 

We may be required to pay a penalty tax upon the sale of a property. The federal income tax provisions applicable to REITs provide that any gain realized by a REIT on the sale of property held as inventory or other property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business is treated as income from a “prohibited transaction” that is subject to a 100% penalty tax. Under current law, unless a sale of real property qualifies for a safe harbor, the question of whether the sale of real estate or other property constitutes the sale of property held primarily for sale to customers is generally a question of the facts and circumstances regarding a particular transaction. We intend that we and our subsidiaries will hold the interests in the real estate for investment with a view to long-term appreciation, engage in the business of acquiring and owning real estate, and make occasional sales as are consistent with our investment objectives. We do not intend to engage in prohibited transactions. We cannot assure you, however, that we will only make sales that satisfy the requirements of the safe harbors or that the IRS will not successfully assert that one or more of such sales are prohibited transactions.

 

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We may be adversely affected if we fail to qualify as a REIT. If we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will not be allowed to deduct distributions to shareholders in computing our taxable income and will be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates and possibly increased state and local taxes. In addition, we might be barred from qualification as a REIT for the four years following disqualification. The additional tax incurred at regular corporate rates would reduce significantly the cash flow available for distribution to shareholders and for debt service. Furthermore, we would no longer be required to make any distributions to our shareholders as a condition to REIT qualification. Any distributions to shareholders would be taxable as ordinary income to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, although such dividend distributions to non-corporate shareholders would be subject to a top federal income tax rate of 20% (and potentially a Medicare tax of 3.8%), provided applicable requirements of the Code are satisfied. Furthermore, corporate shareholders may be eligible for the dividends received deduction on the distributions, subject to limitations under the Code. Additionally, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, non-corporate stockholders would no longer be able to deduct up to 20% of our dividends (other than capital gain dividends and dividends treated as qualified dividend income), as would otherwise generally be permitted for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026.

 

To qualify as a REIT, we must comply with certain highly technical and complex requirements. We cannot be certain we have complied, and will always be able to comply, with the requirements to qualify as a REIT because there are few judicial and administrative interpretations of these provisions. In addition, facts and circumstances that may be beyond our control may affect our ability to continue to qualify as a REIT. We cannot assure you that new legislation, regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions will not change the tax laws significantly with respect to our qualification as a REIT or with respect to the Federal income tax consequences of qualification. We believe that we have qualified as a REIT since our inception and intend to continue to qualify as a REIT. However, we cannot assure you that we are qualified or will remain qualified.

 

There is a risk of changes in the tax law applicable to REITs. Because the IRS, the United States Treasury Department and Congress frequently review federal income tax legislation, we cannot predict whether, when or to what extent new federal tax laws, regulations, interpretations or rulings will be adopted. Numerous changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws are proposed on a regular basis. Any of such legislative action may prospectively or retroactively modify our tax treatment and, therefore, may adversely affect taxation of us and/or our investors. Additionally, the REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department, which may result in revisions to regulations and interpretations in addition to statutory changes. If enacted, certain proposed changes could have an adverse impact on our business and financial results.

 

The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Tax Act”), has significantly changed the U.S. federal income taxation of U.S. businesses and their owners, including REITs and their shareholders. Changes made by the Tax Act that could affect us and our shareholders include:

 

  temporarily reducing individual U.S. federal income tax rates on ordinary income; the highest individual U.S. federal income tax rate has been reduced from 39.6% to 37% for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026;
     
  permanently eliminating the progressive corporate tax rate structure, with a maximum corporate tax rate of 35%, and replacing it with a flat corporate tax rate of 21%;
     
  permitting a deduction for certain pass-through business income, including dividends received by our shareholders from us that are not designated by us as capital gain dividends or qualified dividend income, which will allow individuals, trusts, and estates to deduct up to 20% of such amounts for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026;
     
  reducing the highest rate of withholding with respect to our distributions to non-U.S. stockholders that are treated as attributable to gains from the sale or exchange of U.S. real property interests from 35% to 21%;

 

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  limiting our deduction for net operating losses to 80% of REIT taxable income (prior to the application of the dividends paid deduction);
     
  generally limiting the deduction for net business interest expense in excess of 30% of a business’s adjusted taxable income except for taxpayers that engage in certain real estate businesses and elect out of this rule (provided that such electing taxpayers must use an alternative depreciation system for certain property); and
     
  eliminating the corporate alternative minimum tax.

 

Many of these changes are effective immediately, without any transition periods or grandfathering for existing transactions. The Tax Act is unclear in many respects and could be subject to potential amendments and technical corrections, as well as interpretations and implementing regulations by the United States Treasury Department and the IRS, any of which could lessen or increase certain adverse impacts of the Tax Act. In addition, it is unclear how these U.S. federal income tax changes will affect state and local taxation, which often uses federal taxable income as a starting point for computing state and local tax liabilities.

 

While some of the changes made by the Tax Act may adversely affect us, other changes may be beneficial on a going forward basis. We continue to work with our tax advisors and auditors to determine the full impact that the recent tax legislation as a whole will have on us. You are urged to consult with your tax advisor with respect to the status of legislative, regulatory, judicial or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in our securities.

 

We may be unable to comply with the strict income distribution requirements applicable to REITs. To maintain qualification as a REIT under the Code, a REIT must annually distribute to its stockholders at least 90% of its REIT taxable income, excluding the dividends paid deduction and net capital gains. This requirement limits our ability to accumulate capital. We may not have sufficient cash or other liquid assets to meet the distribution requirements. Difficulties in meeting the distribution requirements might arise due to competing demands for our funds or to timing differences between tax reporting and cash receipts and disbursements, because income may have to be reported before cash is received, because expenses may have to be paid before a deduction is allowed, because deductions may be disallowed or limited or because the IRS may make a determination that adjusts reported income. In those situations, we might be required to borrow funds or sell properties on adverse terms in order to meet the distribution requirements and interest and penalties could apply which could adversely affect our financial condition. If we fail to make a required distribution, we could cease to be taxed as a REIT.

 

If we were considered to have actually or constructively paid a “preferential dividend” to certain of our stockholders, our status as a REIT could be adversely affected. In order to qualify as a REIT, we must distribute annually to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (which does not equal net income as calculated in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”)), determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding net capital gain. For distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT level tax deduction, the distributions for REIT years beginning prior to January 1, 2015 must not be “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if the distribution is pro rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class, and in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in a REIT’s organizational documents. There is no de minimis exception with respect to preferential dividends; therefore, if the IRS were to take the position that we inadvertently paid a preferential dividend, for a REIT year beginning prior to January 1, 2015, we may be deemed to have failed the 90% distribution test, and our status as a REIT could be terminated for the year in which such determination is made if we were unable to cure such failure. While we believe that our operations have been structured in such a manner that we will not be treated as inadvertently having paid preferential dividends for a REIT year beginning prior to January 1, 2015, we can provide no assurance to this effect.

 

Notwithstanding our status as a REIT, we are subject to various federal, state and local taxes on our income and property. For example, we will be taxed at regular corporate rates on any undistributed taxable income, including undistributed net capital gains; provided, however, that properly designated undistributed capital gains will effectively avoid taxation at the stockholder level. We may be subject to other Federal income taxes and may also have to pay some state income or franchise taxes because not all states treat REITs in the same manner as they are treated for Federal income tax purposes.

 

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Other Risks

 

We may not be able to obtain adequate cash to fund our business. Our business requires access to adequate cash to finance our operations, distributions, capital expenditures, debt service obligations, development and redevelopment costs and property acquisition costs, if any. We expect to generate the cash to be used for these purposes primarily with operating cash flow, borrowings under secured and unsecured loans, proceeds from sales of strategically identified assets and, when market conditions permit, through the issuance of debt and equity securities from time to time. We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to fund our business, particularly if we are unable to renew leases, lease vacant space or re-lease space as leases expire according to our expectations.

 

We are dependent on key personnel. Our executive and other senior officers have a significant role in our success. Our ability to retain our management group or to attract suitable replacements should any members of the management group leave is dependent on the competitive nature of the employment market. The loss of services from key members of the management group or a limitation in their availability could adversely affect our financial condition and cash flow. Further, such a loss could be negatively perceived in the capital markets.

 

We may amend our business policies without stockholder approval. Our Board of Directors determines our growth, investment, financing, capitalization, borrowing, REIT status, operations and distributions policies. Although our Board of Directors has no present intention to change or reverse any of these policies, they may be amended or revised without notice to stockholders. Accordingly, stockholders may not have control over changes in our policies. We cannot assure you that changes in our policies will serve fully the interests of all stockholders.

 

The market value of our preferred and common stock could decrease based on our performance and market perception and conditions. The market value of our preferred and common stock may be based primarily upon the market’s perception of our growth potential and current and future cash dividends, and may be secondarily based upon the real estate market value of our underlying assets. The market price of our preferred and common stock is influenced by their respective distributions relative to market interest rates. Rising interest rates may lead potential buyers of our stock to expect a higher distribution rate, which would adversely affect the market price of our stock. In addition, rising interest rates would result in increased expense, thereby adversely affecting cash flow and our ability to service our indebtedness and pay distributions.

 

There are restrictions on the transfer of our capital stock. To maintain our qualification as a REIT under the Code, no more than 50% in value of our outstanding capital stock may be owned, actually or by attribution, by five or fewer individuals, as defined in the Code to also include certain entities, during the last half of a taxable year. Accordingly, our charter contains provisions restricting the transfer of our capital stock. These restrictions may discourage a tender offer or other transaction, or a change in management or of control of us that might involve a premium price for our common stock or preferred stock or that our shareholders otherwise believe to be in their best interests, and may result in the transfer of shares acquired in excess of the restrictions to a trust for the benefit of a charitable beneficiary and, as a result, the forfeiture by the acquirer of the benefits of owning the additional shares.

 

Our earnings are dependent, in part, upon the performance of our investment portfolio. As permitted by the Code, we invest in and own securities of other REITs, which we generally limit to no more than approximately 20% of our undepreciated assets. To the extent that the value of those investments declines or those investments do not provide a return, our earnings and cash flow could be adversely affected.

 

We are subject to restrictions that may impede our ability to effect a change in control. Certain provisions contained in our charter and bylaws and certain provisions of Maryland law may have the effect of discouraging a third party from making an acquisition proposal for us and thereby inhibit a change in control. These provisions include the following:

 

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  Our charter provides for three classes of directors with the term of office of one class expiring each year, commonly referred to as a “staggered board.” By preventing common stockholders from voting on the election of more than one class of directors at any annual meeting of stockholders, this provision may have the effect of keeping the current members of our Board of Directors in control for a longer period of time than stockholders may desire.
     
  Our charter generally limits any holder from acquiring more than 9.8% (in value or in number, whichever is more restrictive) of our outstanding equity stock (defined as all of our classes of capital stock, except our excess stock). While this provision is intended to assure our ability to remain a qualified REIT for Federal income tax purposes, the ownership limit may also limit the opportunity for stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of common stock that might otherwise exist if an investor was attempting to assemble a block of shares in excess of 9.8% of the outstanding shares of equity stock or otherwise effect a change in control.
     
  The request of stockholders entitled to cast at least a majority of all votes entitled to be cast at such meeting is necessary for stockholders to call a special meeting. We also require advance notice by common stockholders for the nomination of directors or proposals of business to be considered at a meeting of stockholders.
     
  Our Board of Directors may authorize and cause us to issue securities without shareholder approval. Under our charter, the board has the power to classify and reclassify any of our unissued shares of capital stock into shares of capital stock with such preferences, rights, powers and restrictions as the Board of Directors may determine.
     
  “Business combination” provisions that provide that, unless exempted, a Maryland corporation may not engage in certain business combinations, including mergers, dispositions of 10 percent or more of its assets, certain issuances of shares of stock and other specified transactions, with an “interested shareholder” or an affiliate of an interested shareholder for five years after the most recent date on which the interested shareholder became an interested shareholder, and thereafter unless specified criteria are met. An interested shareholder is defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of our shares or an affiliate thereof or an affiliate or associate of ours who was the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of our then outstanding voting stock at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question. In our charter, we have expressly elected that the Maryland Business Combination Act not govern or apply to any transaction with our affiliated company, Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation (“MREIC”), a Maryland corporation.
     
  The duties of directors of a Maryland corporation do not require them to, among other things (a) accept, recommend or respond to any proposal by a person seeking to acquire control of the corporation, (b) authorize the corporation to redeem any rights under, or modify or render inapplicable, any shareholders rights plan, (c) make a determination under the Maryland Business Combination Act or the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act to exempt any person or transaction from the requirements of those provisions, or (d) act or fail to act solely because of the effect of the act or failure to act may have on an acquisition or potential acquisition of control of the corporation or the amount or type of consideration that may be offered or paid to the shareholders in an acquisition.

 

We cannot assure you that we will be able to pay distributions regularly. Our ability to pay distributions in the future is dependent on our ability to operate profitably and to generate cash from our operations and the operations of our subsidiaries and is subject to limitations under our financing arrangements and Maryland law. Under the Maryland General Corporation Law, (“MGCL”), a Maryland corporation generally may not make a distribution if, after giving effect to the distribution, the corporation would not be able to pay its debts as the debts became due in the usual course of business, or the corporation’s total assets would be less than the sum of its total liabilities plus, unless the charter permits otherwise, the amount that would be needed if the corporation were to be dissolved at the time of the distribution to satisfy the preferential rights upon dissolution of stockholders whose preferential rights on dissolution are superior to those receiving the distribution. Accordingly, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to pay distributions on a regular quarterly basis in the future.

 

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Dividends on our capital stock do not qualify for the reduced tax rates available for some dividends. Income from “qualified dividends” payable to U.S. stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates are generally subject to tax at preferential rates. Dividends payable by REITs, however, generally are not eligible for the preferential tax rates applicable to qualified dividend income. Although these rules do not adversely affect our taxation or the dividends payable by us, to the extent that the preferential rates continue to apply to regular corporate qualified dividends, investors who are individuals, trusts and estates may perceive an investment in us to be relatively less attractive than an investment in the stock of a non-REIT corporation that pays dividends, which could materially and adversely affect the value of the shares of, and per share trading price of, our capital stock. It should be noted that the recently enacted Tax Act provides for a deduction from income for individuals, trusts and estates up to 20% of certain REIT dividends, which reduces the effective tax rate on such dividends below the effective tax rate on interest, though the deduction is generally not as favorable as the preferential rate on qualified dividends.  The deduction for certain REIT dividends, unlike the favorable rate for qualified dividends, expires after 2025.

 

We are subject to risks arising from litigation. We may become involved in litigation. Litigation can be costly, and the results of litigation are often difficult to predict. We may not have adequate insurance coverage or contractual protection to cover costs and liability in the event we are sued, and to the extent we resort to litigation to enforce our rights, we may incur significant costs and ultimately be unsuccessful or unable to recover amounts we believe are owed to us. We may have little or no control of the timing of litigation, which presents challenges to our strategic planning.

 

Future terrorist attacks and military conflicts could have a material adverse effect on general economic conditions, consumer confidence and market liquidity. Among other things, it is possible that interest rates may be affected by these events. An increase in interest rates may increase our costs of borrowing, leading to a reduction in our earnings. Terrorist acts affecting our properties could also result in significant damages to, or loss of, our properties. Additionally, we may be unable to obtain adequate insurance coverage on acceptable economic terms for losses resulting from acts of terrorism. Our lenders may require that we carry terrorism insurance even if we do not believe this insurance is necessary or cost effective. Should an act of terrorism result in an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits, we could lose capital invested in a property, as well as the anticipated future revenues from a property, while remaining obligated for any mortgage indebtedness or other financial obligations related to the property. Any loss of these types would adversely affect our financial condition.

 

Disruptions in the financial markets could affect our ability to obtain financing on reasonable terms and have other adverse effects on us and the market price of our capital stock. Over the last several years, the U.S. stock and credit markets have experienced significant price volatility, dislocations and liquidity disruptions, which have caused market prices of many stocks and debt securities to fluctuate substantially and the spreads on prospective debt financing to widen considerably. Continued uncertainty in the stock and credit markets may negatively impact our ability to access additional financing at reasonable terms, which may negatively affect our ability to acquire properties and otherwise pursue our investment strategy. A prolonged downturn in the stock or credit markets may cause us to seek alternative sources of potentially less attractive financing, and may require us to adjust our investment strategy accordingly. These types of events in the stock and credit markets may make it more difficult or costly for us to raise capital through the issuance of the common stock, preferred stock or debt securities. The potential disruptions in the financial markets may have a material adverse effect on the market value of the common stock and preferred stock, or the economy in general. In addition, the national and local economic climate, including that of the energy-market dependent Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, may be adversely impacted by, among other factors, plant closings and industry slowdowns, which may have a material adverse effect on the return we receive on our properties and investments, as well as other unknown adverse effects on us.

 

We may be adversely impacted by volatility in foreign financial markets. During the last few years, the financial crisis in Europe (including financial difficulties at several large European banks) has led to increased price volatility, dislocations and liquidity disruptions. Adding to the European credit crisis, in June 2016, voters in the United Kingdom elected to withdraw from the European Union in a national referendum. The referendum has created significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union and has continued to have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets and could significantly reduce global market liquidity and restrict the ability of key market participants to operate in certain financial markets.

 

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Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer. In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including our business information and the personal information of our residents and our employees, in our facility and on our network. 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. Any such breach could compromise our network 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, disrupt our operations, damage our reputation, and cause a loss of confidence, which could adversely affect our business.

 

We face risks relating to expanding use of social media mediums. The use of social media could cause us to suffer brand damage or information leakage. Negative posts or comments about us or our properties on any social networking website could damage our, or our properties’ reputations. In addition, employees or others might disclose non-public sensitive information relating to our business through external media channels. The continuing evolution of social media may present us with new challenges and risks.

 

Item 1B – Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

Item 2 – Properties

 

UMH Properties, Inc. is engaged in the ownership and operation of manufactured home communities located in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan and Maryland. As of December 31, 2017, the Company owns 112 manufactured home communities containing approximately 20,000 developed sites. The rents collectible from the land ultimately depend on the value of the home and land. Therefore, fewer but more expensive homes can actually produce the same or greater rents. There is a long-term trend toward larger manufactured homes. Manufactured home communities designed for older manufactured homes must be modified to accommodate modern, wider and longer manufactured homes. These changes may decrease the number of homes that may be accommodated in a manufactured home community. For this reason, the number of developed sites operated by the Company is subject to change, and the number of developed sites listed is always an approximate number. The following table sets forth certain information concerning the Company’s real estate investments as of December 31, 2017.

 

   Number of   Sites               Approximate 
   Developed   Occupied   Occupancy   Acreage   Additional   Monthly Rent Per 
Name of Community  Sites   at 12/31/17   Percentage   Developed   Acreage   Site at 12/31/17 
                         
Allentown   434    390    90%   76    -0-   $458 
4912 Raleigh-Millington Road                              
Memphis, TN 38128                              
                               
Arbor Estates   230    217    94%   31    -0-   $672 
1081 North Easton Road                              
Doylestown, PA 18902                              
                               
Auburn Estates   42    42    100%   13    -0-   $380 
919 Hostetler Road                              
Orrville, OH 44667                              
                               
Birchwood Farms   143    118    83%   28    -0-   $421 
8057 Birchwood Drive                              
Birch Run, MI 48415                              
                               
Boardwalk   195    185    95%   45    -0-   $355 
2105 Osolo Road                              
Elkhart, IN 46514                              
                               
Broadmore Estates   389    345    89%   93    19   $423 
148 Broadmore Estates                              
Goshen, IN 46528                              
                               
Brookside Village   170    137    81%   37    2   $425 
89 Valley Drive                              
Berwick, PA 18603                              
                               
Brookview Village   134    120    90%   52    22   $501 
2025 Route 9N, Lot 137                              
Greenfield Center, NY 12833                              
                               
Candlewick Court   211    141    67%   40    -0-   $440 
1800 Candlewick Drive                              
Owosso, MI 48867                              
                               
Carsons   131    98    75%   14    4   $379 
649 North Franklin St. Lot 105                              
Chambersburg, PA 17201                              
                               
Catalina   463    249    54%   75    26   $411 
6501 Germantown Road                              
Middletown, OH 45042                              
                               
Cedarcrest   283    272    96%   71    30   $605 
1976 North East Avenue                              
Vineland, NJ 08360--                              
                               
Chambersburg I & II   99    76    77%   11    -0-   $383 
5368 Philadelphia Ave Lot 34                              
Chambersburg, PA 17201                              
                               
Chelsea   84    78    93%   12    -0-   $439 
459 Chelsea Lane                              
Sayre, PA 18840                              
                               
Cinnamon Woods   63    58    92%   10    67   $480 
70 Curry Avenue                              
Conowingo, MD 21918                              
                               
City View   57    53    93%   20    2   $306 
110 Fort Granville Lot C5                              
Lewistown, PA 17044                              
                               
Clinton Mobile Home Resort   116    114    98%   23    1   $389 
60 N State Route 101                              
Tiffin, OH 44883                              
                               
Collingwood   103    89    86%   20    -0-   $436 
358 Chambers Road Lot 001                              
Horseheads, NY 14845                              

 

-18-

 

 

   Number of   Sites               Approximate 
   Developed   Occupied   Occupancy   Acreage   Additional   Monthly Rent Per 
Name of Community  Sites   at 12/31/17   Percentage   Developed   Acreage   Site at 12/31/17 
                         
Colonial Heights   158    124    78%   31    1   $308 
917 Two Ridge Road                              
Wintersville, OH 43953                              
                               
Countryside Estates   161    122    76%   36    28   $327 
1500 East Fuson Road                              
Muncie, IN 47302                              
                               
Countryside Estates   143    129    90%   27    -0-   $307 
6605 State Route 5                              
Ravenna, OH 44266                              
                               
Countryside Village   347    331    95%   89    63   $362 
200 Early Road                              
Columbia, TN 38401                              
                               
Cranberry Village   188    176    94%   36    -0-   $579 
100 Treesdale Drive                              
Cranberry Township, PA 16066                              
                               
Crestview   97    73    75%   19    -0-   $404 
459 Chelsea Lane                              
Sayre, PA 18840                              
                               
Cross Keys Village   132    111    84%   21    2   $413 
259 Brown Swiss Circle                              
Duncansville, PA 16635                              
                               
Crossroads Village   41    25    61%   9    -0-   $370 
549 Chicory Lane                              
Mount Pleasant, PA 15666                              
                               
Dallas Mobile Home Community   146    116    79%   21    -0-   $288 
1104 N 4th Street                               
Toronto, OH 43964                              
                               
Deer Meadows   98    88    90%   22    8   $303 
1291 Springfield Road                              
New Springfield, OH 44443                              
                               
D & R Village   235    211    90%   44    -0-   $567 
430 Route 146 Lot 65A                              
Clifton Park, NY 12065                              
                               
Evergreen Estates   55    53    96%   10    3   $332 
425 Medina Street                              
Lodi, OH 44254                              
                               
Evergreen Manor   67    50    75%   7    -0-   $312 
26041 Aurora Avenue                              
Bedford, OH 44146                              
                               
Evergreen Village   50    47    94%   10    4   $335 
9249 State Route 44                              
Mantua, OH 44255                              

 

-19-

 

 

    Number of     Sites                       Approximate  
    Developed     Occupied     Occupancy     Acreage     Additional     Monthly Rent Per  
Name of Community   Sites     at 12/31/17     Percentage     Developed     Acreage     Site at 12/31/17  
                                     
Fairview Manor   317    300    95%   66    132   $616 
2110 Mays Landing Road                              
Millville, NJ 08332                              
                               
Forest Creek   167    163    98%   37    -0-   $451 
855 E. Mishawaka Road                              
Elkhart, IN 46517                              
                               
Forest Park Village   248    212    85%   79    -0-   $510 
102 Holly Drive                              
Cranberry Township, PA 16066                              
                               
Fox Chapel Village   122    88    72%   23    2   $350 
7 Greene Drive                              
Cheswick, PA 15024                              
                               
Frieden Manor   193    175    91%   42    22   $448 
102 Frieden Manor                              
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972                              
                               
Green Acres   24    24    100%   6    -0-   $400 
4496 Sycamore Grove Road                              
Chambersburg, PA 17201                              
                               
Gregory Courts   39    32    82%   9    -0-   $607 
1 Mark Lane                              
Honey Brook, PA 19344                              
                               
Hayden Heights   115    114    99%   19    -0-   $364 
5501 Cosgray Road                              
Dublin, OH 43016                              
                               
Heather Highlands   405    276    68%   79    -0-   $422 
109 Main Street                              
Inkerman, PA 18640                              
                               
High View Acres   158    125    79%   43    -0-   $370 
399 Blue Jay Lane                              
Apollo, PA 15613                              
                               
Highland   246    222    90%   42    -0-   $365 
1875 Osolo Road                              
Elkhart, IN 46514                              
                               
Highland Estates   318    310    97%   98    65   $544 
60 Old Route 22                              
Kutztown, PA 19530                              
                               
Hillcrest Crossing   201    98    49%   60    16   $300 
100 Lorraine Drive                              
Lower Burrell, PA 15068                              
                               
Hillcrest Estates   222    146    66%   46    45   $400 
14200 Industrial Parkway                              
Marysville, OH 43040                              

 

-20-

 

 

    Number of     Sites                       Approximate  
    Developed     Occupied     Occupancy     Acreage     Additional     Monthly Rent Per  
Name of Community   Sites     at 12/31/17     Percentage     Developed     Acreage     Site at 12/31/17  
                                     
Hillside Estates   90    75    83%   29    20   $328 
1033 Marguerite Lake Road                              
Greensburg, PA 15601                              
                               
Holiday Village   266    254    95%   36    29   $486 
201 Grizzard Avenue                              
Nashville, TN 37207                              
                               
Holiday Village   326    258    79%   53    2   $439 
1350 Co Road 3                              
Elkhart, IN 46514                              
                               
Holly Acres Estates   153    137    90%   30    9   $355 
7240 Holly Dale Drive                              
Erie, PA 16509                              
                               
Hudson Estates   162    143    88%   19    -0-   $281 
100 Keenan Road                              
Peninsula, OH 44264                              
                               
Huntingdon Pointe   64    60    94%   42    7   $265 
240 Tee Drive                              
Tarrs, PA 15688                              
                               
Independence Park   92    86    93%   36    15   $346 
355 Route 30                              
Clinton, PA 15026                              
                               
Kinnebrook   237    225    95%   66    8   $565 
351 State Route 17B                              
Monticello, NY 12701                              
                               
Lake Sherman Village   237    223    94%   54    43   $425 
7227 Beth Avenue, SW                              
Navarre, OH 44662                              
                               
Lakeview Meadows   81    53    65%   21    32   $332 
11900 Duff Road, Lot 58                              
Lakeview, OH 43331                              
                               
Laurel Woods   207    161    78%   43    -0-   $383 
1943 St. Joseph Street                              
Cresson, PA 16630                              
                               
Little Chippewa   62    55    89%   13    -0-   $348 
11563 Back Massillon Road                              
Orrville, OH 44667                              
                               
Maple Manor   316    244    77%   71    -0-   $374 
18 Williams Street                              
Taylor, PA 18517                              
                               
Marysville Estates   304    149    49%   58    -0-   $374 
506 North Main Street                              
Marysville, OH 43040                              

 

-21-

 

 

    Number of     Sites                       Approximate  
    Developed     Occupied     Occupancy     Acreage     Additional     Monthly Rent Per  
Name of Community   Sites     at 12/31/17     Percentage     Developed     Acreage     Site at 12/31/17  
                                     
Meadowood   123    109    89%   20    -0-   $384 
9555 Struthers Road                              
New Middletown, OH 44442                              
                               
Meadows   335    175    52%   61    -0-   $390 
11 Meadows                              
Nappanee, IN 46550                              
                               
Melrose Village   292    266    91%   71    -0-   $337 
4400 Melrose Drive, Lot 301                              
Wooster, OH 44691                              
                               
Melrose West   30    29    97%   27    3   $341 
4455 Cleveland Road                              
Wooster, OH 44691                              
                               
Memphis Blues (1)   144    25    17%   22    -0-   $400 
1401 Memphis Blues Avenue                              
Memphis, TN 38127                              
                               
Monroe Valley   44    43    98%   11    -0-   $483 
1 Sunflower Drive                              
Ephrata, PA 17522                              
                               
Moosic Heights   149    129    87%   35    -0-   $395 
118 1st Street                              
Avoca, PA 18641                              
                               
Mount Pleasant Village   115    109    95%   19    -0-   $315 
549 Chicory Lane                              
Mount Pleasant, PA 15666                              
                               
Mountaintop   39    38    97%   11    2   $556 
1 Sunflower Drive                              
Ephrata, PA 17522                              
                               
Mountain View (2)   -0-    -0-    N/A    -0-    220   $-0- 
Van Dyke Street                              
Coxsackie, NY 12501                              
                               
Oak Ridge Estates   204    199    98%   40    -0-   $450 
1201 Country Road 15 (Apt B)                              
Elkhart, IN 46514                              
                               
Oakwood Lake Village   79    65    82%   40    -0-   $428 
308 Gruver Lake                              
Tunkhannock, PA 18657                              
                               
Olmsted Falls   125    115    92%   15    -0-   $396 
26875 Bagley Road                              
Olmsted Falls, OH 44138                              
                               
Oxford Village   224    218    97%   59    2   $654 
2 Dolinger Drive                              
West Grove, PA 19390                              

 

-22-

 

 

    Number of     Sites                       Approximate  
    Developed     Occupied     Occupancy     Acreage     Additional     Monthly Rent Per  
Name of Community   Sites     at 12/31/17     Percentage     Developed     Acreage     Site at 12/31/17  
                                     
Parke Place   363    305    84%   79    30   $355 
2331 Osolo Road                              
Elkhart, IN 46514                              
                               
Pine Ridge Village/Pine Manor   174    165    95%   50    30   $543 
100 Oriole Drive                              
Carlisle, PA 17013                              
                               
Pine Valley Estates   212    144    68%   38    -0-   $365 
1283 Sugar Hollow Road                              
Apollo, PA 15613                              
                               
Pleasant View Estates   110    81    74%