Preservation Covenant Administration

What is a preservation covenant/easement?



Preservation covenants or easements are voluntary legal agreements between the State Historic Preservation Office or another qualified organization and the owner of a historic property, landscape, or archeological site. In these documents, the owner agrees to ensure the maintenance and preservation of the historic property’s architectural, historical, cultural, landscape, and/or archeological characteristics. An agreement may restrict changes to an entire property or to only a portion of it. The recipient has the right to enforce the covenant and monitor the property.



Can I still use my property?



Yes. In most cases, you will be able to continue using your property as you did before.



How long does the covenant last?



Covenants can be in place for a specific period of time, but typically run in perpetuity (permanently). In order to claim possible income or estate tax deductions, the property owner must grant the covenant in perpetuity. Permanent covenants run with the land if the owner chooses to sell the property.



What if I want to make changes to my historic property?



Many changes are allowed but you must receive written approval from the covenant recipient, and possibly the State Historic Preservation Office, prior to starting work that falls under the purview of the covenant. Most architectural covenants require work to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation; ten guiding principles for protecting historic properties. The terms of every covenant are different so be sure to read yours carefully. If History Nebraska, the Nebraska State Historical Society, or the State Historic Preservation Office holds a covenant on your property or has review authority for changes to your property, please fill out this form if you would like to make changes that are subject to the terms of the agreement. If you are also pursuing a Federal Historic Tax Credit, Nebraska Historic Tax Credit (NHTC), and/or the Valuation Incentive Program (VIP) for the rehabilitation project, you do not need to fill out this form, but you will need to provide written documentation that the property has a covenant and state which tax incentive(s) you will use.



How do I get a preservation covenant?



Contact your attorney, tax advisor, and the State Historic Preservation Office to begin the process.  You may need to pay for a title search, land survey, and an appraisal. The property owner and recipient should work together to write language that is mutually beneficial. When well written, preservation covenants can be very effective in protecting the important characteristics of the property while still allowing acceptable use by present and future owners. Once completed, the property owner will file the covenant or easement with the county clerk of the county where the property is located.



 



Listing on the National Register of Historic Places does not require a covenant.


Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Portraits of Omaha’s 1898 Indian Congress

Portraits of Omaha’s 1898 Indian Congress

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

Marker Monday: Shell Creek Pawnee Settlements

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

The Huskers wore blue jerseys for Memorial Stadium’s first game

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.