Retail Real Estate Management in the True Cloud

Renewal probability and the New FASB Rules

Posted on: Monday, November 29, 2010

Lucernex real estate finance expert Jim Duport, after completing an upgrade to our core financial engine to support the new proposed FASB / GAAP rules, discusses questions surrounding how renewal option probability will be calculated under the new FASB rules.

This is the third in a series of Blogs by Jim describing his findings during the process of developing the architecture within the core Lucernex financial engine to handle the new proposed FASB rules.

Under the proposed FASB rules tenants are required to estimate the probability of exercising their renewal taking into account past practices which includes assigning “more likely than not to occur renewal probability”. For example, assume a tenant has 30 offices with similar leases and renewed 20 of them and allowed the other 10 to lapse; then the past practice is to renew for 2/3rd of the portfolio of similar leases (66% probability of exercising).

However, what if of those 20 renewals, ONLY 10 of the renewal options were exercised by the tenant as drafted and, for the other 10, there was a renegotiation including rent or lease term (as we believe is the case in many renewals). Although the lease was renewed, what really occurred was the term was extended and possibly the rent and concessions changed from what the lease initially provided.

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Now, “in terms of the new FASB proposal” does the tenant’s past practices include exercising 2/3rds or 1/3rd of their renewal options since in only 10 of the 30 offices did the tenant exercise the “renewal option” as initially provided in the original lease? Unfortunately, I do not know the answer and, until the new rules are approved and in use, we may not get a concrete judgment. This is one of the several questions I will be submitting to FASB in their request for input that is due by December 15, 2010.

One other thought; many renewals say “95% of Fair Market Value” (FMV). When was the last time you actually did an appraisal for FMV using an independent 3rd party? In my experience, the tenant and landlord typically agree on a new rent, concessions, etc. Was that 95% of FMV? Was the “renewal option” exercised per the terms of the lease and does it count as a renewal option “in terms of the new FASB proposal”?