Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Guided Legal Forms & Services: Sign In

Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Preservation Easements

Similar to conservation easements, preservation easements protect against undesirable development or indirect deterioration. Preservation easements may provide the most effective legal tool for the protection of privately owned historic properties. Such easements are usually expressly-created and incorporated into formal preservation easement deeds. Preservation easements can prohibit such actions as:

  • Alteration of the structure's significant features,
  • Changes in the usage of the building and land or subdivision, and
  • Topographic changes to the property.

Preservation Easements and Taxes

The property continues on the tax rolls at its current use designation rather than its value if developed, thereby giving the property owner certain tax benefits.

The same standards are used as in conservation easements to determine the qualified tax deduction. The donor is entitled to a charitable contribution deduction in the amount of the fair market value of the donated interest. However, an easement to preserve a historic structure must protect a structure or area listed in the National Register (or located in a National Register district) and certified by the Secretary of the Interior as being of historic significance to the district. The donation of an easement over an historically important land area includes land that is either independently significant and meets National Register criteria for evaluation, or is adjacent to a property listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places (in a case where the physical or environmental features of the land area contribute to the historic or cultural integrity of the property).

"Historically Important" Land

The definition of a historically important land area includes structures or land area within a registered historic district, except buildings that cannot reasonably be considered as contributing to the significance of the district. To qualify as a preservation easement, the donation must be protected in perpetuity. Because of this point, rights of mortgagers must be carefully set out in the easement to avoid loss of the easement in the event of foreclosure.

Need Help with an Easement? Get a Free Real Estate Attorney Match

The times keep changing and neighborhoods continue to evolve, but sometimes it's worth holding onto certian historical landmarks. Preservation easements allow for the protection of historical properties, but can be quite complex and may require an attorney's experience and training. Consider getting a free real estate attorney match today.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified real estate to help you navigate land use issues including zoning, easements and eminent domain.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options