1226 W. Oak St.

A “FOR SALE” sign is posted on a property at the intersection of Oak and Fry streets. The property at 1226 W. Oak St. comes with nearly $86,000 in delinquent taxes, including fees, racked up from 2012 to 2017.

A “FOR SALE” sign now stands at the corner of Oak and Fry streets, where inside apartment buildings some people still live despite owner Bahram “Bobby” Naderi having given out eviction notices.

The property at 1226 W. Oak St. comes with $85,727.88 in delinquent taxes including fees, racked up from 2012 to 2017. Part of the reason the tax bill hasn’t been paid is because officials did not ask the owner to pay it until last year, according to records obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Local government officials have shown great interest in either demolishing the buildings or forcing Naderi to fix them, because living conditions in some of the units there are unsafe, officials have said. In February, the Denton Health and Building Standards Commission ordered Naderi to make needed improvements for the buildings or risk having them condemned and demolished.

But not much has been said about how Naderi got by without paying property taxes at that location for six years.

Just weeks before HABSCO moved on the property, Naderi became officially delinquent on his tax bill. In a May 2018 letter, the Denton County tax assessor/collector gave Naderi until Jan. 31 of this year to pay $60,542.28. But now, with penalties added for being late, the property owner now owes nearly $86,000.

In 2012, Naderi was given a religious exemption on the property. It was not until January 2018 that officials with the Denton Central Appraisal District took a closer look and found the exemption should have never been given in the first place, the records show.

The listed appraiser who granted the exemption was let go from the appraisal district, and officials with the appraisal district and the Denton County Tax Assessor officials began sending letters to Naderi letting him know he had to pay taxes on the property for 2012 to 2017, according to the records and interviews.

Rudy Durham, the chief appraiser, declined repeatedly to name the appraiser who gave the exemption. He also declined to go into why it wasn’t supposed to have been granted in the first place.

“I don’t know,” he said Wednesday. “But it was found to be erroneous.”

But another employee did confirm the appraiser was let go in February because of this error as well as for errors on multiple other properties.

Documents show Naderi claimed that Singing Oaks Church of Christ used the property. For what, the documents do not show.

Naderi could not be reached for comment. A call to the church was not immediately returned.

George Clerihew, the deputy chief appraiser, said that in order for Naderi to legitimately use the religious exemption, he has to be named in the church’s ownership. Clerihew said Naderi was not.

Tax records show the property’s tax bill was paid in full for every year except for the 2012-17 period. Naderi is paid up for 2018 as well.

When Naderi was first notified in January 2018 that the religious exemption was given to him in error, he had 30 days to protest before an appraisal review board. Clerihew said Naderi never did.

DALTON LAFERNEY can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @daltonlaferney.

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