Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of Presentation

Upon deregistration as an investment company, the Company’s status changed to an operating company from an investment company since it no longer met the assessment of an investment company under the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification Topic 946 (“ASC 946”). The Company discontinued applying the guidance in ASC 946 and began to account for the change in status prospectively by accounting for its investments in accordance with other U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) topics as of the date of the change in status.

The consolidated financial statements of the Company are presented on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with GAAP and include the accounts of the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All material intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.


Certain amounts from the prior year have been reclassified to conform to current year presentation as described below.

On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-18: Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230) – Restricted Cash, which requires restricted cash to be included with cash and cash equivalents as part of the reconciliation of beginning and end of period balances within the consolidated statements of cash flows. As a result of adopting the new guidance, $108,955 of restricted cash, which was previously included as operating cash outflows and investing cash inflows within the consolidated statements of cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2017 has been removed and is now included in the cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash line items at the beginning and the end of the period.

Accounting Standards Adopted

As required, in the first quarter of 2018 the Company adopted ASU 2016-01, Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities (“ASU 2016-01”), which requires changes to the accounting for financial instruments that affect the Company’s equity investments and the presentation and disclosure for such instruments. Marketable equity securities previously classified as available-for-sale equity investments are now measured and recorded at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in the consolidated statement of operations. The Company utilized a modified retrospective approach through a cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings for the year beginning on January 1, 2018.

The following table summarizes the effects of adopting ASU 2016-01 on the Company’s financial statements for the year beginning January 1, 2018 as an adjustment to the opening balance:




Balance at



Adjustments from



Balance at




December 31, 2017



Financial Instruments



January 1, 2018




As Previously Reported



Update ASU 2016-01



As Adjusted















Investments in securities












Marketable equity securities






































Accumulated other comprehensive income












Retained earnings














Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Restricted Cash

The Company’s cash is deposited with financial institutions located throughout the United States and at times may exceed federally insured limits. The Company considers all highly liquid investments, which may include money market fund shares, with a maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Restricted cash is comprised of escrowed funds deposited with a bank relating to capital expenditures.

The carrying amount reported on the balance sheet for cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash approximates fair value.

Income Taxes

The Company has elected to be treated as a REIT under the IRC. In order to maintain its qualification as a REIT, among other things, the Company is required to distribute at least 90% of its REIT taxable income to its stockholders and meet certain tests regarding the nature of its income and assets. As a REIT, the Company is not subject to federal income tax with respect to that portion of its income which meets certain criteria and is distributed annually to stockholders. The Company plans to continue to operate so that it meets the requirements for taxation as a REIT. Many of these requirements, however, are highly technical and complex. If the Company were to fail to meet these requirements, it would be subject to federal income tax. In managements opinion, the requirements to maintain these elections are being met. The Company is subject to certain state and local taxes.

The Company has elected to treat its corporate subsidiary, SSG TRS LLC, as a taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”). In general, the Company’s TRS may perform additional services for tenants and may engage in any real estate or non-real estate related business. A TRS is subject to federal corporate income tax.

The Company recognizes the tax benefits of uncertain tax positions only where the position is “more likely than not” to be sustained assuming examination by tax authorities. The Company has reviewed its tax positions and has concluded that no liability for unrecognized tax benefits should be recorded related to uncertain tax positions taken on federal, state, and local income tax returns for open tax years (2015 –  2017), or is expected to be taken in the Company’s 2018 tax returns.

Legislation, commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The TCJA makes significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax rates for taxation of individuals and corporations (including REITs), generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.


Marketable Equity Securities

Investments in equity securities that have readily determinable fair values are accounted for equity securities measured at fair value. Gains or losses from changes in the fair value of equity securities are recorded in net income, until the investment is sold or otherwise disposed of, or until the investment is determined to be other-than-temporarily impaired. The specific identification method is used to determine the realized gain or loss on investments sold or otherwise disposed.

Fair value is determined using a valuation hierarchy generally by reference to an active trading market, using quoted closing or bid prices. Judgment is used to ascertain if a formerly active market has become inactive and in determining fair values when markets have become inactive.

Real Estate Assets

Real estate assets are carried at the appreciated value as of January 19, 2016, the effective date of the change in status to an operating company, less accumulated depreciation from that date. Purchases subsequent to the effective date of the change in status are carried at cost, less accumulated depreciation and impairment losses. Direct and allowable internal costs associated with the development, construction, renovation, and improvement of real estate assets are capitalized. Property taxes and other costs associated with development incurred during the construction period are capitalized. The construction period begins when expenditures for the real estate assets have been made and activities that are necessary to prepare the asset for its intended use are in progress. The construction period ends when the asset is substantially complete and ready for its intended use.


Acquisition costs are accounted for in accordance with Accounting Standard Update ("ASU") No. 2017-01 Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business, which was adopted on January I, 2018 (see section entitled Recent Accounting Pronouncements") and are generally capitalized. When stores are acquired, the purchase price is allocated to the tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on estimated fair values. Allocations to land, building and improvements, and equipment are recorded based upon their respective fair values as estimated by management.

In allocating the purchase price for an acquisition, the Company determines whether the acquisition includes intangible assets or liabilities. The Company allocates a portion of the purchase price to an intangible asset attributed to the value of in-place leases. This intangible is generally amortized to expense over the expected remaining term of the respective leases. Substantially all of the leases in place at acquired stores are at market rates, as the majority of the leases are month-to-month contracts. 

Internal and external transaction costs associated with acquisitions or dispositions of real estate, as well as repairs and maintenance costs, are charged to expense as incurred. Major replacements and betterments that improve or extend the life of the asset are capitalized and depreciated over their estimated useful lives. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the buildings and improvements, which are generally between 5 and 39 years.

Derivative Financial Instruments

The Company carries all derivative financial instruments on the balance sheet at fair value. Fair value of derivatives is determined by reference to observable prices that are based on inputs not quoted on active markets, but corroborated by market data. The accounting for changes in the fair value of a derivative instrument depends on whether the derivative has been designated and qualifies as part of a hedging relationship. The Company’s use of derivative instruments has been limited to interest cap agreements. The fair values of derivative instruments are included in prepaid expenses and other assets in the accompanying balance sheets. For derivative instruments not designated as cash flow hedges, the unrealized gains and losses are included in interest expense in the accompanying statements of operations. For derivatives designated as cash flow hedges, the effective portion of the changes in the fair value of the derivatives is initially reported in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) in the Company’s balance sheets and subsequently reclassified into earnings when the hedged transaction affects earnings. The valuation of interest rate cap agreements is determined using widely accepted valuation techniques. This analysis reflects the contractual terms of derivatives, including the period to maturity, and uses observable market-based inputs, including interest rate curves.

Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses

Accounts payable and accrued expenses primarily consist of property tax accruals, unearned rental income, and trade payables. At December 31, 2018 and 2017, accounts payable and accrued expenses included a $900,000 contingent payment in connection with the purchase of a property made in 2016.

Revenue and Expense Recognition

Revenues from stores, which are primarily composed of rental income earned pursuant to month-to-month leases for storage space, as well as associated late charges and administrative fees, are recognized as earned. Promotional discounts reduce rental income over the promotional period. Ancillary revenues from sales of merchandise and tenant insurance and other income are recognized when earned.

The Company accrues for property tax expense based upon actual amounts billed and, in some circumstances, estimates and historical trends when bills or assessments have not been received from the taxing authorities or such bills and assessments are in dispute. Cost of operations and general and administrative expense are expensed as incurred.

Credit Risk

Financial assets that are exposed to credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents and certain portions of accounts receivable including rents receivable from our tenants. Cash and cash equivalents are on deposit with highly rated commercial banks.

Evaluation of Asset Impairment

The Company evaluates its real estate assets, intangible assets consisting of in-place lease, and goodwill for impairment annually. If there are indicators of impairment and we determine that the asset is not recoverable from future undiscounted cash flows to be received through the asset’s remaining life (or, if earlier, the expected disposal date), we record an impairment charge to the extent the carrying amount exceeds the asset’s estimated fair value or net proceeds from expected disposal.

Stock-based Compensation

The measurement and recognition of compensation expense for all stock-based payment awards to employees are based on estimated fair values. Awards granted are valued at fair value and any compensation expense is recognized over the service periods of each award.


Loan Procurement Costs


In accordance with ASU No. 2015-03, Loan procurement costs, net are presented as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of the related debt liability. Jf there is not an associated debt liability recorded on the consolidated balance sheets, the costs are recorded as an asset net of accumulated amortization. Loan procurement costs associated with the Company's revolving credit facility remain in Line of credit issuance costs, net of amortization on the Company's consolidated balance sheets. The costs are amortized over the estimated life of the related debt.


Use of Estimates

The preparation of the financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could materially differ from management’s estimates.

Recently Issued Accounting Standards

In May 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-09, Stock Compensation: Scope of Modification Accounting, to increase clarity and consistency of practice and reduce cost and complexity when modifying the terms of share-based awards. The Company prospectively adopted this guidance effective January 1, 2018, with no material impact on our financial statements.

In February 2017, as part of the new revenue standard, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-05 – Other Income – Gains and Losses from the Derecognition of Nonfinancial Assets (Subtopic 610-20): Clarifying the Scope of Asset Derecognition Guidance, which focuses on recognizing gains and losses from the transfer of nonfinancial assets in contracts with non-customers. Specifically, the new guidance defines “in substance nonfinancial asset,” unifies guidance related to partial sales of nonfinancial assets, eliminates rules specifically addressing sales of real estate, removes exceptions to the financial asset derecognition model, and clarifies the accounting for contributions of nonfinancial assets to joint ventures. The new guidance became effective on January 1, 2018 when the Company adopted the new revenue standard. Upon adoption, the majority of the Company’s sale transactions are now treated as dispositions of nonfinancial assets rather than dispositions of a business given the FASB’s recently revised definition of a business (see ASU No. 2017-01 below). Additionally, in partial sale transactions where the Company sells a controlling interest in real estate but retains a noncontrolling interest, the Company will now fully recognize a gain or loss on the fair value measurement of the retained interest as the new guidance eliminates the partial profit recognition model. The adoption of the standard did not have an impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations.

In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-01 - Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business, which changes the definition of a business to include an input and a substantive process that provide goods or services to customers, other revenue, or investment income. The standard became effective on January 1, 2018. Upon adoption of the new guidance, the Company expects that the majority of future property acquisitions will now be considered asset acquisitions, resulting in the capitalization of acquisition related costs incurred in connection with these transactions and the allocation of purchase price and acquisition related costs to the assets acquired based on their relative fair values. The adoption of the standard did not have an impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations.

In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-18 - Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash, which requires the statement of cash flows to explain the change during the period in the total of cash, cash equivalents, and amounts generally described as restricted cash or restricted cash equivalents. The new guidance also requires entities to reconcile such total to amounts on the balance sheet and disclose the nature of the restrictions. The standard became effective on January 1, 2018 and requires the use of the retrospective transition method. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements as the update relates to financial statement presentation and disclosures as discussed in “Reclassifications” above.

In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-15 - Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments, which is intended to reduce diversity in practice in how certain transactions are classified in the statement of cash flows. The eight items that the ASU provides classification guidance on include (1) debt prepayment and extinguishment costs, (2) settlement of zero-coupon debt instruments, (3) contingent consideration payments made after a business combination, (4) proceeds from the settlement of insurance claims, (5) proceeds from the settlement of corporate-owned life insurance policies, including bank-owned life insurance policies, (6) distributions received from equity method investments, (7) beneficial interests in securitization transactions, and (8) separately identifiable cash flows and application of the predominance principle. The standard became effective on January 1, 2018. The standard requires the use of the retrospective transition method. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements as the update relates to financial statement presentation and disclosures.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02 - Leases (Topic 842), which sets out the principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases for both parties to a contract (i.e., lessees and lessors). The new standard requires lessees to apply a dual approach, classifying leases as either financing or operating leases based on the principle of whether or not the lease is effectively a financed purchase by the lessee. This classification will determine whether lease expense is recognized based on an effective interest method or on a straight line basis over the term of the lease, respectively. A lessee is also required to record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for all leases with a term of greater than 12 months regardless of their classification. Leases with a term of 12 months or less will be accounted for similar to existing guidance for operating leases today. The new standard requires lessors to account for leases using an approach that is substantially equivalent to existing guidance for sales-type leases, direct financing leases and operating leases. The standard became effective on January 1, 2019. This standard will not have a material impact on operating results of financial condition, because all lease revenues are derived from month to month self storage leases and the Company does not incur a material amount of lease expense.


In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606), which requires an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. The new guidance outlines a five-step process for customer contract revenue recognition that focuses on transfer of control as opposed to transfer of risk and rewards. The new guidance also requires enhanced disclosures regarding the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenues and cash flows from contracts with customers. In May 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-12 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients, which amends ASU 2014-09 and is intended to address implementation issues that were raised by stakeholders. ASU 2016-12 provides practical expedients on collectability, noncash consideration, presentation of sales tax and contract modifications and completed contracts in transition. Both standards became effective on January 1, 2018. The standards did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated statements of financial position or results of operations primarily because the majority of its revenue is derived from lease contracts, which are excluded from the scope of the new guidance. The Company’s insurance fee revenue, and merchandise sale revenue are included in the scope of the new guidance, however, the Company identified similar performance obligations under this standard as compared with deliverables and separate units of account identified under its previous revenue recognition methodology. Accordingly, revenue recognized under the new guidance does not differ materially from revenue recognized under previous guidance and there is no material prior year impact.