Paying for Landmark Repairs

If you’re the owner of a landmarked building in New York City, you’re likely well-aware of what a pain the landmark status can be for your wallet.

Although the Landmark Preservation Commission exists primarily to limit major changes to historically significant buildings, it also mandates that landmarked building owners also do regular building upkeep to ensure historically significant buildings don’t fall into disrepair.  Given the architectural complexity and age of many landmarked buildings, doing repairs can be a huge financial burden.  But it doesn’t matter if you can’t pay for repairs—you’re still legally obligated to have them done.  Not doing them just means fines on top of the repairs you already can’t afford.

So, what should you do?

Luckily, there’s help.  Buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places receive a 20% rehabilitation tax credit.  In addition to this federal program, the City also offers help for repairs via a rebate program called J-51.  Under J-51, the city will fully reimburse building owners for the repairs of certain designated items.  Not everyone can apply for J-51—there’s an economic threshold—but any aid helps.