Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of Presentation

Upon deregistration as an investment company, effective January 19, 2016, 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.

Accounting Standards Adopted

In February 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (“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 determines whether lease expense is recognized based on an effective interest method or on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. 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 are accounted for similar to previous guidance for operating leases. The new standard requires lessors to account for leases using an approach that is substantially equivalent to previous guidance for sales-type leases, direct financing leases and operating leases. The Company adopted the standard on January 1, 2019, the date it became effective for public companies, using the modified retrospective approach whereby the cumulative effect of adoption was recognized on the adoption date and prior periods were not restated. There was no net cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings as of January 1, 2019 as a result of this adoption. Upon adoption, the Company elected the package of practical expedients permitted within the standard, which among other things, allows for the carryforward of historical lease classification. The Company also elected the practical expedient provided to lessors in a subsequent amendment to the standard that removed the requirement to separate lease and nonlease components, provided certain conditions were met. Refer to note 9 for the impact of the adoption of ASU No. 2016-02 – Leases (Topic 842) on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

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 following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash in our consolidated balance sheets to the total amount shown in our consolidated statements of cash flows:




December 31, 2019



December 31, 2018


Cash and cash equivalents









Restricted cash









Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash as shown in our consolidated statements of cash flows










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 (2016 – 2018), or is expected to be taken in the Company’s 2019 tax returns.

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. 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 1, 2018 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 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 an interest rate cap agreement. 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 analysis of the interest rate cap 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.

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 in accordance with ASU Leases-Topic 842. 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's management fees are earned subject to the terms of the related property management services agreements (“PSAs”). These PSAs provide that the Company will perform management services, which include leasing and operating the property and providing accounting, marketing, banking, maintenance and other services. These services are provided in exchange for monthly management fees, which are based on a percentage of revenues collected from stores owned by third parties. PSAs generally have original terms of three years, after which management services are provided on a month-to-month basis unless terminated. Management fees are due on the last day of each calendar month that management services are provided.

The Company accounts for the management services provided to a customer as a single performance obligation which are rendered over time each month in accordance with ASU Contracts with Customers-Topic 606. The total amount of consideration from the contract is variable as it is based on monthly revenues, which are influenced by multiple factors, some of which are outside the Company's control. Therefore, the Company recognizes the revenue at the end of each month once the uncertainty is resolved. No disaggregated information relating to PSAs is presented as there is only one contract for the year ended December 31, 2019.

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.

The Company evaluates goodwill for impairment annually and whenever relevant events, circumstances, and other related factors indicate that fair value may be less that carrying amounts. If it is determined that the carrying amount of goodwill exceeds the amount that would be allocated to goodwill if the reporting unit were acquired for estimated fair value, an impairment charge is recorded. There were no indicators of impairment and no impairment charges were recorded during 2019 or 2018.

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. For awards granted which contain a graded vesting schedule and the only condition for vesting is a service condition, compensation cost is recognized as an expense on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period as if the award was, in substance, a single award. For awards granted for which vesting is subject to a performance condition, compensation cost is recognized over the requisite service period if and when the Company concludes it is probable that the performance condition will be achieved.


Loan Procurement Costs


Loan procurement costs, net are presented as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of the related debt liability. If 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 August 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-12 – Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities. The purpose of this updated guidance is to better align a company’s financial reporting for hedging activities with the economic objectives of those activities. The standard became effective on January 1, 2020 and is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13 – Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. The new guidance changes how entities measure credit losses for most financial assets. This standard requires an entity to estimate its lifetime expected credit loss and record an allowance that, when deducted from the amortized cost basis of the financial asset, presents the net amount expected to be collected on the financial asset. In November 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-19 – Codification Improvements to Topic 326, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses, which clarifies that receivables arising from operating leases are within the scope of the leasing standard (ASU No. 2016-02), and not within the scope of ASU No. 2016-13. The standard became effective on January 1, 2020 and is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.