The Trust for Architectural Easements serves as a steward for historic properties and encourages owners to thoughtfully maintain their properties for future generations. As owners of historic properties know, routine maintenance is a necessity for the continual performance of historic materials, which is why the easement requires owners to maintain the property in good order. According to the terms of the easement (Recital J, Section 3 of the Trust’s standard easement agreement):
“Grantor agrees to maintain in good order the Protected Façades, the foundations and the overall structural integrity of the Building in the condition and appearance existing on the effective date of this Easement …”
If the Trust finds deferred maintenance at a property during the annual monitoring inspection, it will result in a request for maintenance work. Work most commonly required by the Trust as a result of annual monitoring visits includes removal of deteriorated paint followed by repainting, trimming of vines and other vegetation, and masonry repairs.
Routine maintenance differs from proposed modifications, which the Trust must review and consent to in writing prior to the start of any work. Work on a historic property that would be considered routine maintenance is extremely limited and includes:
- Hand cleaning, which excludes cleaning with any tool or mechanical object (including powerwashers)
- Vine removal or trimming
- Painting/staining already painted/stained surfaces in the same color with the same finish (i.e. stain for stain/paint for paint)
- Limited replacement of individual units of surface cladding (i.e. shingles, clapboards, bricks, slates, etc.); replacement units must be of the same composition, size, and appearance as the original cladding units
The Trust encourages owners of easement-encumbered properties to contact us before undertaking any work, whether the owner considers the work to be maintenance or modification. Please see the Trust’s Making Changes page for more information on work that requires the Trust’s consent.