PRESERVATION EASEMENTS

Protecting Historic Places in Perpetuity

The best way to ensure that your building or home will be around forever is placing a preservation easement on that property. The easement, monitored and held by Rethos, guarantees the property's preservation.
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What is a Preservation Easement?
 
An easement is a property right that gives its holder a non-possessory interest in that property in perpetuity, applying to all future owners.
 
A preservation easement is a binding legal agreement between a property owner and a qualified easement-holding organization. In the easement, the property owner agrees to place protections on the historic integrity of the property, while retaining all the usual private property rights. In turn, Rethos, a qualified easement-holding organization, is granted the right and responsibility to enforce the easement and monitor the property. This means Rethos has full responsibility of ensuring the protection of the visual and structural integrity of the structure.
 
The annual monitoring of the property prevents the building from destruction or severe alteration without the permission of Rethos. Alterations, improvements, and additions to the structure are allowed, as long as they do not compromise its historic character. At Rethos, we are eager to work with the owners of our easement properties, not only to help preserve the historic character of the buildings but also to make them comfortable and desirable places in which to live or work.
Sample Easement
Gilbert Building - St. Paul
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Easement Basics

  • Most preservation easements held by Rethos are facade easements that pertain only to the exterior of the building. In some cases, we are open to protecting significant interior architectural elements.

  • The easement also can prohibit alterations to the property's grounds or landscaping, if the alterations would mar the exterior appearance of the building or affect historically significant features of the site.

  • Properties with an preservation easement may be sold, leased, or passed on to heirs just as other properties would be. When selling, property owners and realtors have a duty to inform potential buyers of the existence of the easement. 

  • There may be financial benefits to having an easement on your property. These are not guaranteed. Consult your accountant.

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