This excerpt taken from the EQR 8-K filed Dec 15, 2008.
occupancy permits have been obtained.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets, Including Goodwill
In June 2001, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued SFAS No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets. SFAS No. 142 prohibits the amortization of goodwill and requires that goodwill be reviewed for impairment at least annually. In August 2001, the FASB issued SFAS No. 144, Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets. SFAS Nos. 142 and 144 were effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2001. The Company adopted these standards effective January 1, 2002. See Notes 13 and 19 for further discussion.
The Company periodically evaluates its long-lived assets, including its investments in real estate and goodwill, for indicators of permanent impairment. The judgments regarding the existence of impairment indicators are based on factors such as operational performance, market conditions, expected holding period of each asset and legal and environmental concerns. Future events could occur which would cause the Company to conclude that impairment indicators exist and an impairment loss is warranted.
For long-lived assets to be held and used, the Company compares the expected future undiscounted cash flows for the long-lived asset against the carrying amount of that asset. If the sum of the estimated undiscounted cash flows is less than the carrying amount of the asset, the Company further analyzes each individual asset for other temporary or permanent indicators of impairment. An impairment loss would be recorded for the difference between the estimated fair value and the carrying amount of the asset if the Company deems this difference to be permanent.
For long-lived assets to be disposed of, an impairment loss is recognized when the estimated fair value of the asset, less the estimated cost to sell, is less than the carrying amount of the asset measured at the time that the Company has determined it will sell the asset. Long-lived assets held for disposition and the related liabilities are separately reported at the lower of their carrying amounts or their estimated fair values, less their costs to sell, and are not depreciated after reclassification to real estate held for disposition.
See the Real Estate Assets and Depreciation of Investment in Real Estate section for discussion of the policy with respect to capitalization vs. expensing of fixed asset/repair and maintenance costs. In addition, the Company capitalizes the payroll and associated costs of employees directly responsible for and who spend all of their time on the supervision of major capital and/or renovation projects. These costs are reflected on the balance sheet as an increase to depreciable property.
The Company follows the guidance in SFAS No. 67, Accounting for Costs and Initial Rental Operations of Real Estate Projects, for all development projects and uses its professional judgment in determining whether such costs meet the criteria for capitalization or must be expensed as incurred. The Company capitalizes interest, real estate taxes and insurance and payroll and associated costs for those individuals directly responsible for and who spend all of their time on development activities, with capitalization ceasing no later than 90 days following issuance of the certificate of occupancy. These costs are reflected on the balance sheet as construction in progress for each specific property. The Company expenses as incurred all payroll costs of on-site employees working directly at our properties, except as noted above on our development properties prior to certificate of occupancy issuance and on specific major renovation at selected properties when additional incremental employees are hired.