Historic Preservation Easements
A historic preservation easement:
- permits a property owner to retain private ownership of property (provided it is a certified historic structure that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places or located in a registered historic district);
- insures that the historic character of the property will be preserved;
- is a voluntary legal agreement, typically in the form of a deed, that permanently protects historic property;
- permits such property owner to impose restrictions on the development of, or changes to, the historic property, and then transfers such restrictions to a preservation or conservation organization, which has a mission which includes environmental protection, land conservation, open space preservation, or historic preservation;
- once recorded, becomes part of the property’s chain of title and, therefore, binding not only the historic property owner but all future owners as well;
- permits the value of the easement to be a federal and/or state charitable deduction; and
- reduces such property owner’s estate taxes.
There are many complex rules that must be followed in order to qualify for and maintain a historic preservation easement.
- determine whether the federal historic preservation easement and/or any state historic preservation easement may apply, as well as any federal or state historic tax credit program;
- underwrite the historic preservation easement financing;
- complete national registration nomination applications;
- complete federal (Part 1 and Appeal, if necessary (there is no Part 2 or Part 3 required), and state applications;
- work closely with the National Park Service and the applicable State Historic Preservation Office;
- identify preservation or conservation organizations;
- identify other sources of financing;
- structure the federal and/or state historic preservation easement financing;
- collect due diligence materials;
- manage the closing and funding; and
- provide ongoing asset management, compliance and reporting services.