National Health Investors will defer $1.5 million in Bickford Senior Living rent for June and July, the real estate investment trust said last week in a business update.

Bickford will pay 8% interest on the deferrals beginning in October and will have 18 months to repay.

Overall, NHI’s clients appear to be inching their way back from the pandemic, executives said.

“Occupancy trends across our senior housing portfolio continue to improve, and we are pleased that our three largest operators [Senior Living Communities, Bickford and Holiday Retirement] all have experienced recent occupancy growth, including a 270 basis point [2.7%] increase for Bickford from the March low,” Eric Mendelsohn, NHI president and CEO, said in a press release.

“While our operators are likely to need more assistance as they bridge to a more normal operating environment, NHI’s balance sheet is in good health, and we are set up to take advantage of the tremendous growth opportunities driven by strong fundamentals in the senior housing industry for many years to come,” he added.

NHI has collected 88.5% of cash contractually due for June. The remaining balance for the month includes 5.5% in deferrals related to Bickford; 2.2% in deferrals related to Holiday; 2.8% in deferrals, either agreed to or pending, related to three tenants; 0.4% related to amounts expected to be collected; and 0.6% related to lower forecasted revenue from transitioned properties prior to the start of the pandemic, according to the business update.