Murfreesboro, TN-based National Health Investors has won a motion in the Delaware Court of Chancery to expedite its claims against Toledo, OH-based Welltower and some of its subsidiaries related to back rent NHI says it is owed for Holiday Retirement properties.

“NHI is seeking to expeditiously advance the transition of the remaining Holiday properties to new operators with as little disruption to residents as possible,” the real estate investment trust said Wednesday in a business update.

As previously reported, NHI sued Welltower and some of its subsidiaries last month, claiming that the companies owed NHI more than $14.1 million in back rent. According to the real estate investment trust, Welltower has not made contractual rental payments since it acquired the Holiday properties in July. Total unpaid rent now exceeds $16 million, NHI said. 

NHI continues to hold an $8.8 million security deposit, which it said it anticipates applying to past due rent in the first quarter.

The REIT also said that it agreed to defer $2 million in rent due last month from Bickford Senior Living, and it deferred $0.4 million in rent for two other tenants in January; NHI expects to be repaid with interest. The REIT also has agreed to defer up to $4 million in contractual rent from Bickford in the first quarter.

NHI said it collected 80.4% of contractual cash due for January. The remaining balance for the month is comprised of the following: 1.1% in outstanding rent NHI expects to collect; 7.8% in deferrals related to Bickford; 1.7% in deferrals agreed to with two other tenants; 8.4% in unpaid rent related to the legacy Holiday properties; and 0.6% related to lower forecasted revenue from transitioned properties prior to the start of the pandemic.

Occupancy among the REIT’s top holdings increased year-over-year for two out of three senior living providers in the portfolio. Occupancy at the Senior Living Communities properties in the NHI portfolio was 81.8% in December 2021 compared with 76.2% in December 2020, and Bickford property occupancy was 80.9% in December 2021 compared with 77.1% in December 2020. Occupancy in NHI’s portfolio of Holiday communities, however, declined from 78.1% in December 2020 to 77.2% last month.

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