BSR REIT Provides Update on Operations Related to COVID-19
LITTLE ROCK, AR and TORONTO, April 17, 2020 /CNW/ - BSR Real Estate Investment Trust ("BSR" or the "REIT") (TSX:HOM.U and HOM.UN) today announced an operational update that includes its response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the impact of the virus on both April total revenue collections and requests for rent deferrals.
Total Revenue Collection and Deferral Requests
As of April 15, 2020, the REIT has collected 93.3% of total revenue for the month. Historically, by the 15th of the month the REIT has collected 97.0% of its total revenue. Total revenue includes rental income, fees associated with moving in or out such as application and cleaning fees, parking fees, renters' liability insurance and utility charges.
To date, the REIT has received 100 requests from residents for a deferral of April rent payments. This represents approximately 1.1% of the apartment units in the portfolio and is not expected to materially impact the REIT's financial performance. The REIT will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide a further update if it receives a material increase in rent deferral requests in the weeks ahead.
Weighted average occupancy as of March 31, 2020 was 94.2% compared with 94.9% a year earlier and has remained strong in April 2020.
The REIT's highest priority is the health and safety of its residents and team members. To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, the REIT has implemented several important measures, including:
- Closure of non-essential common areas at all properties;
- Increased sanitization of frequently-touched surfaces;
- Shifted to emergency-only maintenance;
- Team members working from home wherever possible;
- Apartment offices have been closed to external traffic;
- Apartment tours completed either virtually or entirely self-guided; and
- Doorstep delivery of packages.
"I want to recognize the outstanding contribution of the BSR team in the face of the challenges presented by COVID-19," said John Bailey, BSR's Chief Executive Officer. "Their high level of preparedness, timely responsiveness and continuing dedication to our residents reflect the professionalism of our people and BSR's commitment to the communities in which we operate."
Support for Residents
The REIT recognizes that the COVID-19 outbreak has created enormous economic disruption and job losses. Accordingly, evictions and scheduled rent increases have been suspended until the health crisis subsides. The REIT is committed to supporting its residents during this difficult time.
The REIT continues to maintain a strong liquidity position totaling $77.0 million, including cash and equivalents of $9.6 million, $32.4 million of borrowing capacity under a credit facility, and $35.0 million available under a revolving line of credit. The REIT's pro forma debt to gross book value ratio following recent asset sales was 46.6%.
About BSR Real Estate Investment Trust
BSR Real Estate Investment Trust is an internally managed, unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust established pursuant to a declaration of trust under the laws of the Province of Ontario. The REIT owns a portfolio of multifamily garden-style residential properties located in attractive primary and secondary markets in the Sunbelt region of the United States.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of applicable securities laws) relating to the business of the REIT. Forward-looking statements are identified by words such as "believe", "anticipate", "project", "expect", "intend", "plan", "will", "may", "estimate" and other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this news release are based on certain assumptions. They are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to control or predict. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the REIT's Annual Information Form dated March 10, 2020, which is available at www.sedar.com. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate as actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Readers, therefore, should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. Further, these forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as expressly required by applicable law. The REIT assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE BSR Real Estate Investment Trust