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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021

 

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:

 

Title of each class   Trading Symbol(s)   Name of exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $.10 par value   UMH   New York Stock Exchange
6.75% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $.10 par value   UMH PRC   New York Stock Exchange
6.375% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $.10 par value   UMH PRD   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 ☐ 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 ☒ 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. Yes ☐ No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). ☒ Yes ☐ No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See 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
Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
    Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). ☐ Yes ☒ 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, 2021 was $1.0 billion. 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, 2021 was $961.1 million.

 

The number of shares outstanding of issuer’s common stock as of February 22, 2022 was 52,029,801 shares.

 

Documents Incorporated by Reference:

-Part III incorporates certain information by reference from the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the 2022 annual meeting of shareholders, which will be filed no later than 120 days after the close of the Registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I 3
Item 1 – Business 3
Item 1A – Risk Factors 8
Item 1B – Unresolved Staff Comments 23
Item 2 – Properties 23
Item 3 – Legal Proceedings 33
Item 4 – Mine Safety Disclosures 33
PART II 34
Item 5 – Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 34
Item 6 – Reserved 35
Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 35
Item 7A – Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk 46
Item 8 – Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 47
Item 9 – Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 47
Item 9A – Controls and Procedures 47
Item 9B – Other Information 50
Item 9C – Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdiction that Prevent Inspections 50
PART III 50
Item 10 – Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 50
Item 11 – Executive Compensation 50
Item 12 – Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 50
Item 13 – Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 50
Item 14 – Principal Accountant Fees and Services 50
PART IV 51
Item 15 – Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 51
Item 16 – Form 10-K Summary 55
SIGNATURES 56

 

-2-

 

 

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 Maryland corporation that operates as 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 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.

 

UMH was incorporated in the state of New Jersey in 1968. On September 29, 2003, UMH changed its state of incorporation from New Jersey to Maryland by merging with and into a Maryland corporation. Our executive office is located in Freehold, NJ.

 

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 manufactured homes to residents and, through its wholly-owned taxable REIT subsidiary, UMH Sales and Finance, Inc. (“S&F”), sells and finances the sale of manufactured homes to residents and prospective residents of our communities and for placement on customers’ privately-owned land.

 

We have expanded our portfolio of manufactured home communities through numerous acquisitions. During 2021, the Company purchased three communities totaling 543 homesites, located in Alabama, Ohio and South Carolina, for a total purchase price of $18.3 million. During 2021, the Company also purchased one community in Florida, totaling 219 homesites, through its joint venture with Nuveen Real Estate for a total purchase price of $22.2 million. As of December 31, 2021, the Company owned and operated 127 manufactured home communities containing approximately 24,000 developed homesites. These communities are located in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Alabama and South Carolina. The Company also has an ownership interest in and operates one community in Florida through its joint venture with Nuveen Real Estate (See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 5 “Investment in Joint Venture” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements).

 

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. Generally, the Company owns the underlying land, utility connections, streets, lighting, driveways, common area amenities and other capital improvements and is responsible for enforcement of community guidelines and maintenance.

 

Manufactured homes are accepted by the public as a viable and economically attractive alternative to conventional site-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, prices per square foot for a new manufactured home average up 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, inventory control of construction materials and control of all aspects of the construction process, which is generally a more efficient and streamlined process as compared to a site-built home.

 

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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, and renewable upon the consent of both parties. The community manager interviews prospective residents, collects rent and finance payments, ensures compliance with community regulations, maintains common 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.

 

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, 2021, UMH owned a total of 8,700 rental homes, representing approximately 36% of its developed homesites. 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.

 

Inherent in the operation of a manufactured home community is the development, redevelopment, and expansion of our communities. The Company sells and finances, through a third party lending program, the sale of manufactured homes in our communities through S&F. S&F was established to potentially enhance the value of our communities by filling sites that would otherwise be vacant. The home sales business is operated as it is with traditional 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. In addition, our sales centers earn a profit by selling homes to customers for placement on their own private land.

 

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 U.S. but the Company has generally concentrated on the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast. Since 2010, we have tripled the number of developed homesites by purchasing 99 communities containing approximately 17,200 homesites. We are focused on acquiring communities with significant upside potential and leveraging our expertise to build long-term capital appreciation.

 

Our growth strategy involves purchasing well located communities in our target markets. During 2021, we entered the Alabama and South Carolina markets by acquiring communities in those markets and acquired one community in Florida through our joint venture with Nuveen Real Estate. As part of our growth strategy, we intend to evaluate potential opportunities to expand into additional geographic markets, including certain other markets in the southeastern United States.

 

The Company also evaluates our properties for expansion opportunities. Development of the additional acreage available for expansion allows us to leverage existing communities and amenities. We believe our ability to complete expansions translates to greater value creation and cash flow through operating efficiencies. The Company has approximately 1,800 acres of additional land potentially available for future development. See PART I, Item 2 – Properties, for a list of our additional acreage.

 

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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’s joint venture with Nuveen Real Estate also provides a source of financing for acquisitions of newly developed communities.

 

The Company may repurchase or reacquire its shares from time to time if, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, such an acquisition is advantageous to the Company. During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company did not repurchase any shares of its Common Stock.

 

In addition to its manufactured home communities, the Company also owns a portfolio of investment securities, consisting of marketable equity securities issued by other REITs, which represented 7.2% of undepreciated assets (which is the Company’s total assets excluding accumulated depreciation) at year end. The Company generally limits the portfolio to no more than approximately 15% of its undepreciated assets. These liquid real estate holdings provide diversification, additional liquidity and income, and serve 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.

 

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 several of our communities. We believe that each community has all necessary 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.

 

State and local rent control laws in certain jurisdictions may dictate the structure of rent increases and limit our ability to recover increases in operating expenses and the costs of capital improvements. In 2019, the State of New York enacted the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which, among other things, set maximum collectible rent increases. Rent control also affects two of our manufactured home communities in New Jersey. Enactment of such laws has been considered at various times in other jurisdictions. We presently expect to continue to maintain properties, and may purchase additional properties, in markets that are either subject to rent control or in which rent related legislation exists or may be enacted.

 

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 2022 will be approximately $10 - $15 million.

 

Human Capital

 

The attraction, motivation and retention of our employees are critical factors in furthering the growth and financial success of the Company. We recognize that our ability to achieve the high standards we set for ourselves can best be accomplished by having a diverse team. We are committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and our benefits programs are designed to achieve employee satisfaction and advancement. As of February 22, 2022, the Company had approximately 430 employees, including officers. Approximately half of our management team and 45% of our total employee population are female. Over 34% of our employees are 40 years of age or older and 31% are over 60 years of age. During each year, the Company hires additional part-time and seasonal employees as grounds keepers and lifeguards and to conduct emergency repairs.

 

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Our employees are fairly compensated as compared to employees of our competitors and are routinely recognized for outstanding performance. They are offered regular opportunities to participate in professional development programs which focus on building their skills and capabilities. We conduct regional training sessions and are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace that is free from violence, intimidation and other unsafe or disruptive practices. We hold an annual employee meeting that includes safety training, as required under the federal Occupational, Safety and Health Act, as well as harassment training. The Company also offers a robust wellness program to its employees that incorporates health benefits, including incentives for enrolling in exercise classes and for gym memberships. This encourages our employees to improve their mental and physical well-being.

 

Information about our Executive Officers

 

The following table sets forth information with respect to the executive officers of the Company as of December 31, 2021:

 

Name   Age   Position
         
Eugene W. Landy   88   Chairman of the Board of Directors and Founder
Samuel A. Landy   61   President and Chief Executive Officer
Anna T. Chew   63   Vice President, Chief Financial and Accounting Officer and Treasurer
Craig Koster   46   General Counsel and Secretary
Brett Taft   32   Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

 

Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) Considerations

 

The Company’s mission is to address the fundamental need of providing affordable housing and in doing so, create sustainable and environmentally friendly communities that have a positive societal impact. We recognize our obligation, as well as that of our industry, to reduce our impact on the environment and to conserve natural resources. We continually invest in energy-efficient technology where practicable, including water and energy conservation initiatives, and are committed to incorporating environmental and social considerations into our business practices to create value and enhance the communities where our residents live. We also recognize the importance of good corporate governance in ensuring the Company’s continued success and maintaining the confidence of our shareholders and financing sources. Our policies and practices are endorsed and supported by the Company’s executive management, including its Director of ESG, and are regularly reviewed by the Board of Directors and its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

 

Summary of Risk Factors

 

The following is a summary of the principal risk factors associated with an investment in us. These are not the only risks we face. You should carefully consider these risk factors, together with the risk factors set forth in Item 1A. of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports and documents filed by us with the SEC.

 

Real Estate Industry Risks:

 

  General economic conditions and the concentration of our properties in certain states may affect our ability to generate revenue.
  We may be unable to compete with our larger competitors for acquisitions, which may increase prices for communities.
  We may not be able to integrate or finance our acquisitions and our acquisitions may not perform as expected.
  We may be unable to finance or accurately estimate or anticipate costs and timing associated with expansion activities.
  We may be unable to sell properties when appropriate because real estate investments are illiquid.
  Our ability to sell manufactured homes may be affected by various factors, which may in turn adversely affect our profitability.
  Licensing laws and compliance could affect our profitability.
  The termination of our third party lending program could adversely affect us.
  Costs associated with taxes and regulatory compliance may reduce our revenue.
  Rent control legislation may harm our ability to increase rents.
  Environmental liabilities could affect our profitability.
  Some of our properties are subject to potential natural or other disasters.
  Climate change may adversely affect our business.
  Actions by our competitors may decrease or prevent increases in the occupancy and rental rates of our properties which could adversely affect our business.
  Losses in excess of our insurance coverage or uninsured losses could adversely affect our cash flow.
  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 joint venture with Nuveen Real Estate may subject us to risks, including limitations on our decision-making authority and the risk of disputes, which could adversely affect us.

 

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Financing Risks:

 

  We face risks generally associated with our debt.
  We mortgage our properties, which subjects us to the risk of foreclosure in the event of non-payment.
  We face risks associated with our dependence on external sources of capital.
  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.
  Fluctuations in interest rates could materially affect our financial results.
  We may be adversely affected by the market transition away from LIBOR.
  Covenants in our credit agreements and other debt instruments could limit our flexibility and adversely affect our financial condition.
  A change in the U.S. government policy with regard to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could impact our financial condition.
  We face risks associated with the financing of home sales to customers in our manufactured home communities.

 

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.
  Failure to make required distributions would subject us to additional tax.
  We may not have sufficient cash available from operations to pay distributions to our stockholders, and, therefore, distributions may be made from borrowings.
  We may be required to pay a penalty tax upon the sale of a property.
  We may be adversely affected if we fail to qualify as a REIT.
  To qualify as a REIT, we must comply with certain highly technical and complex requirements.
  There is a risk of changes in the tax law applicable to REITs.
  We may be unable to comply with the strict income distribution requirements applicable to REITs.
  Our taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”) is subject to special rules that may result in increased taxes.
  Notwithstanding our status as a REIT, we are subject to various federal, state and local taxes on our income and property.

 

General Risk Factors

 

  We face risks and uncertainties related to public health crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
  Global and regional economic conditions could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and growth.
  We may not be able to obtain adequate cash to fund our business.
  We are dependent on key personnel.
  Some of our directors and officers may have conflicts of interest with respect to related party transactions and other business interests.
  We may amend our business policies without stockholder approval.
  The market value of our preferred and common stock could decrease based on our performance and market perception and conditions.
  The market price and trading volume of our common stock, Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock may fluctuate significantly.
  The future issuance or sale of additional shares of Common Stock or Preferred Stock could adversely affect the trading prices of our outstanding Common Stock and Preferred Stock.
  Future issuances of our debt securities, which would be senior to our Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock upon liquidation, or preferred equity securities which may be senior to our Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock for purposes of dividend distributions or upon liquidation, may adversely affect the per-share trading prices of our Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock.
  There are restrictions on the transfer of our capital stock.
  The dual listing of our Common Stock on the NYSE and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) may result in price variations that could adversely affect liquidity of the market for our Common Stock.
  The existing mechanism for the dual listing of securities on the NYSE and the TASE may be eliminated or modified in a manner that may subject us to additional regulatory burden and additional costs.
  Our earnings are dependent, in part, upon the performance of our investment portfolio.
  We are subject to restrictions that may impede our ability to effect a change in control.
  We may not be able to pay distributions regularly.
  Dividends on our capital stock do not qualify for the reduced tax rates available for some dividends.
  We are subject to risks arising from litigation.
  Future terrorist attacks and military conflicts could have a material adverse effect on general economic conditions, consumer confidence and market liquidity.
  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.
  We face risks relating to cybersecurity attacks which could adversely affect our business, cause loss of confidential information and disrupt operations.
  We are dependent on continuous access to the Internet to use our cloud-based applications.
  We face risks relating to expanding use of social media mediums.

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

 

Certain statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Forward-looking statements provide our current expectations or forecasts of future events. Forward-looking statements include statements about the Company’s expectations, beliefs, intentions, plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, performance and underlying assumptions and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements can be identified by their use of forward-looking words, such as “may,” “will,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “believe,” “intend,” “plan,” “should,” “seek” or comparable terms, or the negative use of those words, but the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking.

 

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The forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account all information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements are not predictions of future events. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. Some of these factors are described below and under the headings “Business”, “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”. These and other risks, uncertainties and factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those included in any forward-looking statements we make. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made. New risks and uncertainties arise over time, and it is not possible for us to predict those events or how they may affect us. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to, and do not intend to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations include, among others:

 

changes in the real estate market conditions and general economic conditions;
risks and uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
the inherent risks associated with owning real estate, including local real estate market conditions, governing laws and regulations affecting manufactured housing communities and illiquidity of real estate investments;
increased competition in the geographic areas in which we own and operate manufactured housing communities;
our ability to continue to identify, negotiate and acquire manufactured housing communities and/or vacant land which may be developed into manufactured housing communities on terms favorable to us;
our ability to maintain rental rates and occupancy levels;
changes in market rates of interest;
increases in commodity prices and the cost of purchasing manufactured homes;
our ability to purchase manufactured homes for rental or sale;
our ability to repay debt financing obligations;
our ability to refinance amounts outstanding under our credit facilities at maturity on terms favorable to us;
our ability to comply with certain debt covenants;
our ability to integrate acquired properties and operations into existing operations;
the availability of other debt and equity financing alternatives;
continued ability to access the debt or equity markets;
the loss of any member of our management team;
our ability to maintain internal controls and processes to ensure all transactions are accounted for properly, all relevant disclosures and filings are made in a timely manner in accordance with all rules and regulations, and any potential fraud or embezzlement is thwarted or detected;
the ability of manufactured home buyers to obtain financing;
the level of repossessions by manufactured home lenders;
market conditions affecting our investment securities;
changes in federal or state tax rules or regulations that could have adverse tax consequences;
our ability to qualify as a real estate investment trust for federal income tax purposes; and,
those risks and uncertainties referenced under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in this Form 10-K and the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

 

You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, as events described or implied in such statements may not occur. The forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K speak only as of the date hereof and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 

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 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 Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. 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.

 

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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.”

 

Real Estate Industry Risks

 

General economic conditions and the concentration of our properties in certain states 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 ten states in the Eastern United States, 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, potential restrictions on drilling, 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;

 

a pandemic or other health crisis, such as the outbreak of COVID-19;

 

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 competitors 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 finance or accurately estimate or anticipate costs and timing associated with expansion activities. We periodically consider expansion of existing communities and development of new communities. Our expansion and development activities are subject to risks such as:

 

we may not be able to obtain financing with favorable terms for community development which may make us unable to proceed with the development;

 

we may be unable to obtain, or may face delays in obtaining, necessary zoning, building and other governmental permits and authorizations, which could result in increased costs and delays, and even require us to abandon development of a community entirely if we are unable to obtain such permits or authorizations;

 

we may abandon development opportunities that we have already begun to explore and as a result we may not recover expenses already incurred in connection with exploring such development opportunities;

 

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we may be unable to complete construction and lease-up of a community on schedule resulting in increased debt service expense and construction costs;

 

we may incur construction and development costs for a community which exceed our original estimates due to increased materials, labor or other costs, which could make completion of the community uneconomical and we may not be able to increase rents to compensate for the increase in development costs which may impact our profitability;

 

we may be unable to secure long-term financing on completion of development resulting in increased debt service and lower profitability; and

 

occupancy rates and rents at a newly developed community may fluctuate depending on several factors, including market and economic conditions, which may result in the community not being profitable.

 

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

 

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;

 

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. Our subsidiary S&F is 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 S&F conducts 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, 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.

 

The termination of our third party lending program could adversely affect us. S&F currently relies exclusively on its third-party lending program for all loan origination and servicing activity. As a result, the termination of our third-party lending program could impact our ability to continue with our home financing activities.

 

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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. In 2019, the State of New York enacted the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which, among other things, set maximum collectible rent increases. Rent control also affects two of our manufactured home communities in New Jersey. Enactment of such laws has been considered at various times in other jurisdictions. We presently expect to continue to maintain properties, and may purchase additional properties, in markets that are either subject to rent control or in which rent related legislation exists or may be enacted.

 

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 operations.

 

Of the 127 manufactured home communities we operated as of December 31, 2021, 47 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, our community-owned manufactured homes are not subject to radon or asbestos monitoring requirements.

 

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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, in areas that may be adversely affected by tornados and 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.

 

Climate change may adversely affect our business. To the extent that significant changes in the climate occur in areas where our properties are located, we may experience extreme weather and changes in precipitation and temperature, all of which may result in physical damage to or a decrease in demand for properties located in these areas or affected by these conditions. Should the impact of climate change be material in nature, including significant property damage to or destruction of our properties, or occur for lengthy periods of time, our financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected. In addition, changes in federal, state and local legislation and regulations based on concerns about climate change could result in increased capital expenditures on our properties (for example, to improve their energy efficiency and/or resistance to inclement weather) without a corresponding increase in revenue, resulting in adverse impacts to our net income.

 

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.

 

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 our insurance coverage, or that we will be able to obtain insurance in the future at acceptable levels and reasonable cost.

 

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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.

 

Our joint venture with Nuveen Real Estate may subject us to risks, including limitations on our decision-making authority and the risk of disputes, which could adversely affect us. We have entered into a joint venture with Nuveen Real Estate to acquire manufactured home communities that are recently developed or under development. We are required to contribute 40% of the capital required for investments by this joint venture. It is possible that our joint venture partner, Nuveen Real Estate, may have business interests or goals that are different from our business interests or goals. Although we manage the joint venture and its properties, we do not have full control over decisions and require approval of Nuveen Real Estate for major decisions. As a result, we may face the risk of disputes, including potential deadlocks in making decisions. In addition, the joint venture agreement provides that until the capital contributions to the joint venture are fully funded or the joint venture is terminated, and unless Nuveen declines an acquisition proposed by us, the joint venture will be the exclusive vehicle for us to acquire any manufactured home communities that meet the joint venture’s investment guidelines.   Nuveen Real Estate will have the right to remove and replace us as managing member of the joint venture and manager of the joint venture’s properties if we breach certain obligations or certain events occur, in which event Nuveen Real Estate may elect to buy out our interest in the joint venture at 98% of its value.  There are also significant restrictions on our ability to exit the joint venture. Any of these provisions could adversely affect us.

 

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.

 

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 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 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.

 

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.

 

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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. Interest rates currently remain substantially below historical long-term averages and may increase in the future. If the U.S. Federal Reserve increases short-term interest rates, this may have a significant upward impact on 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. Additionally, if we choose to hedge any interest rate risk, we cannot assure that any such hedge will be effective or that our hedging counterparty will meet its obligations to us. As a result, any increases in future interest rates could adversely affect us.

 

We may be adversely affected by the market transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). A portion of our debt bears interest at variable rates based on LIBOR for deposits of U.S. dollars. The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, has announced that it intends to stop encouraging or requiring banks to submit LIBOR rates after 2021. On March 5, 2021, ICE Benchmark Administration (“IBA”), the administrator of LIBOR, announced plans to cease publication of USD LIBOR on December 31, 2021 for only the one week and two month USD LIBOR tenors, and on June 30, 2023 for all other USD LIBOR tenors. While this announcement extends the transition period to June 2023, it is likely that, over time, LIBOR may be replaced by the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or another alternative benchmark. We are monitoring these developments and evaluating the related risks. Although the full impact of such reforms and actions, together with the transition away from LIBOR, alternative reference rates or other reforms, remains unclear, these changes may have a material adverse impact on the availability of financing, including variable rate loans, and as a result on our financing costs.

 

Covenants in our credit agreements and other debt instruments 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 U.S. government policy with regard to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could impact our financial condition. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are major sources 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. 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.

 

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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.

 

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 certain types of 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 the year of 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 maximum 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 so qualified or will remain so qualified.

 

There is a risk of changes in the tax law applicable to REITs. Because the IRS, the U.S. 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. Furthermore, members of the U.S. Congress and the Biden administration have expressed intent to pass legislation to change or repeal parts of currently enacted tax law, including, in particular, legislation that will increase corporate tax rates from the current flat rate of 21%. If enacted, certain proposed changes could have an adverse impact on our business and financial results. Importantly, legislation has been proposed in several states specifically taxing REITs. If such legislation were to be enacted, our income from such states would be adversely impacted.

 

The act popularly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “TCJA”), as amended by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), has significantly changed the U.S. federal income taxation of U.S. businesses and their owners, including REITs and their shareholders. On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act, federal legislation intended to ameliorate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law. The CARES Act made technical corrections, or temporary modifications, to certain of the provisions of the TCJA. The individual and collective impact of the changes made by the TCJA and the CARES Act on REITs and their security holders are uncertain and may not become evident for some period of time. It is also possible that additional legislation could be enacted in the future as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which may affect the holders of our securities. Changes made by the TCJA and the CARES 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;

 

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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%;

 

limiting our deduction for net operating losses (“NOLs”) to 80% of REIT taxable income (prior to the application of the dividends paid deduction) (this was modified by the CARES Act as discussed below);

 

generally limiting the deduction for net business interest expense in excess of a specified percentage (50% for taxable years beginning in 2019 and 2020 and 30% for subsequent taxable years) 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). The CARES Act increases this interest limitation to 50% for taxable years beginning in 2019 or 2020 (with special rules applicable to interest allocation from entities treated as partnerships for tax purposes) and permits an entity to elect to use its 2019 adjusted taxable income to calculate the applicable limitation for its 2020 taxable year; and

 

eliminating the corporate alternative minimum tax.

 

The CARES Act significantly modified the treatment of NOLs. Generally, a corporate taxpayer must pay tax on its net capital gain at ordinary corporate rates and may deduct capital losses only to the extent of capital gains, though excess capital losses may be carried forward indefinitely. As discussed above, under the TCJA, corporate NOLs arising in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, can only offset 80% of taxable income (before the dividends paid deduction). These NOLs can now be carried forward indefinitely instead of the previous 20-year limitation, and carrybacks of these losses are no longer permitted. NOLs arising in tax years beginning before December 31, 2017 retain the same rules, and can be carried back two years and forward 20 years. There is no taxable income limit to usage of such losses. The CARES Act repeals the above 80% limitation for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2021, and allows a five-year carryback for NOLs arising in 2018, 2019 or 2020. This NOL carryback does not apply directly to REITs, however, taxable REIT subsidiaries are eligible to carry back NOLs and may benefit from this provision.

 

The TCJA and the CARES Act are 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 impacts of the TCJA and/or the CARES Act. Some technical corrections, proposed regulations and final regulations have already been promulgated, some of which specifically address REITs. It is unclear how these U.S. federal income tax changes will affect state and local taxation in various states and localities, which often use federal taxable income as a starting point for computing state and local tax liabilities. 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.

 

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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.

 

Our taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”) is subject to special rules that may result in increased taxes. As a REIT, we must pay a 100% penalty tax on certain payments that we receive or on certain deductions taken if the economic arrangements between us and our TRS are not comparable to similar arrangements between unrelated parties. The IRS may successfully assert that the economic arrangements of any of our inter-company transactions are not comparable to similar arrangements between unrelated parties, and may assess the above 100% penalty tax or make other reallocations of income or loss. This would result in unexpected tax liability which would adversely affect our cash flows.

 

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.

 

General Risk Factors

 

We face various risks and uncertainties related to public health crises, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences may have a material adverse effect on us. We face various risks and uncertainties related to public health crises, including the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted financial markets and significantly impacted worldwide economic activity. The future effects of the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as mandatory and voluntary actions taken to mitigate the public health impact of the pandemic may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition. The COVID-19 pandemic and social and governmental responses to the pandemic have caused, and may continue to cause, severe economic, market and other disruptions worldwide. Although the COVID-19 pandemic and related societal and government responses have not, to date, had a material impact on our business or financial results, the extent to which COVID-19 and related actions may, in the future, impact our operations cannot be predicted with any degree of confidence. As a result, we cannot at this time predict the direct or indirect impact on us of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects.

 

Global and regional economic conditions could materially adversely affect the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition and growth. Adverse macroeconomic conditions, including inflation, slower growth or recession, tighter credit, higher interest rates and high unemployment could materially adversely affect the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition and growth. In addition, uncertainty about, or a decline in, global or regional economic conditions could have a significant impact on the Company’s suppliers.  

 

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.

 

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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.

 

Some of our directors and officers may have conflicts of interest with respect to certain related party transactions and other business interests. Mr. Eugene W. Landy, the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company, owns a 24% interest in the entity that is the landlord of the property where the Company’s corporate office space is located. Effective October 1, 2019, the Company entered into a new lease for its executive offices in Freehold, New Jersey which combines the existing corporate office space with additional adjacent office space. This new lease extends our existing lease through April 30, 2027 and requires monthly lease payments of $23,098 through April 30, 2022 and $23,302 from May 1, 2022 through April 30, 2027. The Company is also responsible for its proportionate share of real estate taxes and common area maintenance. Mr. Eugene Landy may have a conflict of interest with respect to his obligations as our officer and/or director and his ownership interest in the landlord of the property.

 

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 could 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.

 

The market price and trading volume of our common stock may fluctuate significantly. The per-share trading price of our common stock may fluctuate. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. If the per-share trading price of our common stock declines significantly, investors in our common stock may be unable to resell their shares at or above their purchase price. We cannot provide any assurance that the per-share trading price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future.

 

Some of the factors that could negatively affect our share price or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of our stock include:

 

actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results or dividends;
changes in our funds from operations or earnings estimates;
publication of research reports about us or the real estate industry;
prevailing interest rates;
the market for similar securities;
changes in market valuations of similar companies;
adverse market reaction to any additional debt we incur in the future;
additions or departures of key management personnel;
actions by institutional stockholders;
speculation in the press or investment community;
the extent of investor interest in our securities;
the general reputation of REITs and the attractiveness of our equity securities in comparison to other equity securities, including securities issued by other real estate-based companies;

 

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our underlying asset value;
investor confidence in the stock and bond markets, generally;
changes in tax laws;
future equity issuances;
failure to meet earnings estimates;
failure to maintain our REIT status;
changes in valuation of our REIT securities portfolio;
general economic and financial market conditions;
war, terrorist acts and epidemic disease, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic;
our issuance of debt or preferred equity securities;
our financial condition, results of operations and prospects; and
the realization of any of the other risk factors presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the price of their common stock. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow and per-share trading price of our common stock.

 

The market prices and trading volumes of our Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock may fluctuate significantly. Although our Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock are listed and traded on the NYSE, the trading markets for the Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock are limited. Since the Series C Preferred Stock and the Series D Preferred Stock have no maturity dates, investors seeking liquidity may elect to sell their shares of Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock in the secondary market. If an active trading market does not exist, the market price and liquidity of the Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock may be adversely affected by such sales. Even if an active public market exists, we cannot guarantee that the market price for the Series C Preferred Stock or the Series D Preferred Stock will equal or exceed the price that investors in the Series C Preferred Stock or the Series D Preferred Stock paid for their shares.

 

The future issuance or sale of additional shares of Common Stock or Preferred Stock could adversely affect the trading prices of our outstanding Common Stock and Preferred Stock. Future issuances or sales of substantial numbers of shares of our Common Stock or Preferred Stock in the public market, or the perception that such issuances or sales might occur, could adversely affect the per-share trading prices of our Common Stock, Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock. The per-share trading price of our Common Stock, Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock may decline significantly upon the sale or registration of additional shares of our Common Stock, Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock.

 

Future issuances of our debt securities, which would be senior to our Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock upon liquidation, or preferred equity securities which may be senior to our Series C Preferred Stock and Series D Preferred Stock for purposes of dividend distributions or upon liquidation, may adversely affect the per-share trading prices of our Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock. In the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources by issuing additional debt securities and/or additional classes or series of preferred stock. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and lenders with respect to other borrowings will be entitled to receive our available assets prior to any distribution to holders of our Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock. Additionally, any convertible or exchangeable securities that we issue in the future may have rights, preferences and privileges more favorable than those of our Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock. Any shares of preferred stock that we issue in the future could have a preference on liquidating distributions or a preference on dividend payments that could limit our ability to pay dividends to holders of our Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock. Any such future issuances may adversely affect the trading price of our Series C Preferred Stock or Series D Preferred Stock.

 

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.

 

The dual listing of our Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (“TASE”) may result in price variations that could adversely affect liquidity of the market for our Common Stock. Our common stock is listed and trades on both the NYSE and the TASE. The dual listing may result in price variations of our common stock between the two exchanges due to various factors, including the use of different currencies and the different days and hours of trading for the two exchanges. Any decrease in the trading price of our common stock in one market could cause a decrease in the trading price on the other market. In addition, the dual-listing may adversely affect liquidity and trading prices on one or both of the exchanges as a result of circumstances that may be outside of our control. For example, transfers by holders of our securities from trading on one exchange to the other could result in increases or decreases in liquidity and or trading prices on either or both of the exchanges. Holders could also seek to sell or buy our Common Stock to take advantage of any price differences between the two markets through a practice referred to as arbitrage. Any such arbitrage activity could create volatility in both the price and volume of trading of our Common Stock.

 

-21-

 

 

The existing mechanism for the dual listing of securities on the NYSE and the TASE may be eliminated or modified in a manner that may subject us to additional regulatory burden and additional costs. The current Israeli regulatory regime provides a mechanism for the dual-listing of securities traded on the NYSE and the TASE that does not impose any significant regulatory burden or significant costs on us. If this dual-listing regime is eliminated or modified, it may become more difficult for us to comply with the regulatory requirements, and this could result in additional costs. In such event, we may consider delisting of our common stock from the TASE.

 

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 15% of our undepreciated assets. To the extent that the value of those investments decline 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:

 

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% 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.

 

-22-

 

 

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, 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.

 

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 TCJA 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. 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, potential restrictions on drilling, 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.

 

-23-

 

 

We face risks relating to cybersecurity attacks which could adversely affect our business, cause loss of confidential information and disrupt operations. We rely extensively on information technology to process transactions and manage our business. In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including our business information and that of our tenants, clients, vendors and employees on our network. This data is hosted on internal, as well as external, computer systems. Our external systems are hosted by third-party service providers that may have access to such information in connection with providing necessary information technology and security and other business services to us. This information may include personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, banking information and credit card information. We employ a number of measures to prevent, detect and mitigate potential breaches or disclosure of this confidential information. We have established a Cybersecurity Subcommittee of our Audit Committee to review and provide high level guidance on cybersecurity related issues of importance to the Company. We also maintain cyber risk insurance to provide some coverage for certain risks arising out of data and network breaches. While we continue to improve our cybersecurity and take measures to protect our business, we and our third-party service providers may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers (including through malware, ransomware, computer viruses, and email phishing schemes) or breached due to employee error, malfeasance, fire, flood or other physical event, or other disruptions. Any such breach or disruption could compromise the confidential information of our employees, customers and vendors to the extent such information exists on our systems or on the systems of third-party providers. Such an incident could result in potential liability or a loss of confidence and legal claims or proceedings; damage our reputation, competitiveness, stock price and long-term value; increase remediation, cybersecurity protection and insurance premium costs; disrupt and affect our business operations; or have material adverse effects on our business.

 

We are dependent on continuous access to the Internet to use our cloud-based applications. Damage or failure to our information technology systems, including as a result of any of the reasons described above, could adversely affect our results of operations as we may incur significant costs or data loss. We continually assess new and enhanced information technology solutions to manage risk of system failure or interruption.

 

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. The considerable increase in the use of social media over recent years has greatly expanded the potential scope and scale, and increased the rapidity of the dissemination of negative publicity that could be generated by negative posts and comments.

 

Item 1B – Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

Item 2 – Properties

 

UMH Properties, Inc. is engaged in the ownership and operation of manufactured home communities. As of December 31, 2021, the Company owned 127 manufactured home communities containing approximately 24,000 developed sites, located in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Alabama and South Carolina. The Company also has an ownership interest in and operates one community in Florida through its joint venture. The rents collectible from the land in our communities 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. Existing 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, 2021.

 

-24-

 

 

Name of Community  Number of
Developed
Sites
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/21
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/20
   Acreage
Developed
   Additional
Acreage
   Weighted Average
Monthly Rent Per
Site at 12/31/21
 
                         
Allentown   434    97%   97%   87    18   $513 
4912 Raleigh-Millington Road                              
Memphis, TN 38128                              
                               
Arbor Estates   230    97%   94%   31    -0-   $784 
1081 North Easton Road                              
Doylestown, PA 18902                              
                               
Auburn Estates   42    95%   93%   13    -0-   $394 
919 Hostetler Road                              
Orrville, OH 44667                              
                               
Bayshore Estates   206    84%   N/A    56    -0-   $367 
105 West Shoreway Drive                              
Sandusky, OH 44870                              
                               
Birchwood Farms   143    95%   95%   28    -0-   $500 
8057 Birchwood Drive                              
Birch Run, MI 48415                              
                               
Boardwalk   195    98%   97%   45    -0-   $419 
2105 Osolo Road                              
Elkhart, IN 46514                              
                               
Broadmore Estates   390    93%   90%   93    19   $505 
148 Broadmore Estates                              
Goshen, IN 46528                              
                               
Brookside Village   170    82%   80%   37    2   $501 
107 Skyline Drive                              
Berwick, PA 18603                              
                               
Brookview Village   172    92%   92%   46    64   $580 
2025 Route 9N, Lot 137                              
Greenfield Center, NY 12833                              
                               
Camelot Village   95    96%   92%   32    50   $324 
2700 West 38th Street                              
Anderson, IN 46013                              
                               
Camelot Woods   149    55%   54%   32    -0-   $311 
500 Earnhardt Dr.                              
Altoona, PA 16601                              
                               
Candlewick Court   211    70%   72%   40    -0-   $521 
1800 Candlewick Drive                              
Owosso, MI 48867                              
                               
Carsons   131    85%   84%   14    4   $458 
649 North Franklin St. Lot 116                              
Chambersburg, PA 17201                              

 

-25-

 

 

Name of Community  Number of
Developed
Sites
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/21
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/20
   Acreage
Developed
   Additional
Acreage
   Weighted Average
Monthly Rent Per
Site at 12/31/21
 
Catalina   462    73%   66%   75    26   $476 
6501 Germantown Road                              
Middletown, OH 45042                              
                               
Cedarcrest Village   283    99%   96%   71    30   $693 
1976 North East Avenue                              
Vineland, NJ 08360                              
                               
Chambersburg I & II   99    76%   78%   11    -0-   $430 
5368 Philadelphia Ave Lot 34                              
Chambersburg, PA 17201                              
                               
Chelsea   84    99%   96%   12    -0-   $464 
459 Chelsea Lane                              
Sayre, PA 18840                              
                               
Cinnamon Woods   62    100%   98%   10    67   $569 
70 Curry Avenue                              
Conowingo, MD 21918                              
                               
City View   57    96%   95%   20    2   $370 
110 Fort Granville Lot C5                              
Lewistown, PA 17044                              
                               
Clinton Mobile Home Resort   116    99%   100%   23    1   $464 
60 N State Route 101                              
Tiffin, OH 44883                              
                               
Collingwood   102    85%   90%   20    -0-   $504 
358 Chambers Road Lot 001                              
Horseheads, NY 14845                              
                               
Colonial Heights   160    96%   88%   31    1   $370 
917 Two Ridge Road                              
Wintersville, OH 43953                              
                               
Countryside Estates   164    85%   80%   44    20   $399 
1500 East Fuson Road                              
Muncie, IN 47302                              
                               
Countryside Estates   142    96%   95%   27    -0-   $397 
6605 State Route 5                              
Ravenna, OH 44266                              
                               
Countryside Village/ Duck River Estates   376    92%   89%   79    103   $436 
200 Early Road                              
Columbia, TN 38401                              
                               
Cranberry Village   187    98%   98%   36    -0-   $639 
100 Treesdale Drive                              
Cranberry Township, PA 16066                              
                               
Crestview   98    92%   95%   19    -0-   $426 
Wolcott Hollow Rd & Route 220                              
Athens, PA 18810                              

 

-26-

 

 

Name of Community  Number of
Developed
Sites
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/21
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/20
   Acreage
Developed
   Additional
Acreage
   Weighted Average
Monthly Rent Per
Site at 12/31/21
 
Cross Keys Village   132    93%   89%   21    2   $517 
259 Brown Swiss Circle                              
Duncansville, PA 16635                              
                               
Crossroads Village   34    76%   79%   9    -0-   $423 
549 Chicory Lane                              
Mount Pleasant, PA 15666                              
                               
Dallas Mobile Home Community   145    92%   86%   21    -0-   $298 
1104 N 4th Street                               
Toronto, OH 43964                              
                               
Deer Meadows   98    94%   95%   22    8   $373 
1291 Springfield Road                              
New Springfield, OH 44443                              
                               
Deer Run   195    31%   N/A    33    -0-   $175 
3142 Flynn Road Lot 194                              
Dothan, AL 36303                              
                               
D & R Village   234    95%   94%   44    -0-   $647 
430 Route 146 Lot 65A                              
Clifton Park, NY 12065                              
                               
Evergreen Estates   55    96%   98%   10    3   $393 
425 Medina Street                              
Lodi, OH 44254                              
                               
Evergreen Manor   68    90%   90%   7    -0-   $369 
26041 Aurora Avenue                              
Bedford, OH 44146                              
                               
Evergreen Village   50    86%   92%   10    4   $419 
9249 State Route 44                              
Mantua, OH 44255                              
                               
Fairview Manor   317    96%   95%   66    132   $729 
2110 Mays Landing Road                              
Millville, NJ 08332                              
                               
Fifty-One Estates   171    89%   86%   42    6   $467 
Hayden Boulevard                              
Elizabeth, PA 15037                              
                               
Forest Creek   167    96%   95%   37    -0-   $534 
855 E. Mishawaka Road                              
Elkhart, IN 46517                              
                               
Forest Park Village   246    94%   95%   79    -0-   $581 
102 Holly Drive                              
Cranberry Township, PA 16066                              
                               
Fox Chapel Village   120    97%   92%   23    2   $405 
7 Greene Drive                              
Cheswick, PA 15024                              

 

-27-

 

 

Name of Community  Number of
Developed
Sites
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/21
   Occupancy
Percentage
at 12/31/20
   Acreage
Developed
   Additional
Acreage
   Weighted Average
Monthly Rent Per
Site at 12/31/21
 
Frieden Manor   193    97%   92%   42    22   $535 
102 Frieden Manor                              
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972                              
                               
Friendly Village   824    52%   49%   101    -0-   $428 
27696 Oregon Road                              
Perrysburg, OH 43551                              
                               
Green Acres   24    92%   96%   6    -0-   $450 
4496 Sycamore Grove Road                              
Chambersburg, PA 17201                              
                               
Gregory Courts   39    97%   90%   9    -0-   $713 
1 Mark Lane                              
Honey Brook, PA 19344                              
                               
Hayden Heights   115    99%   98%   19    -0-   $448 
5501 Cosgray Road