Devon landlord faces £2m costs after breaching fire safety laws

A landlord from the Devon village of Berrynarbor is facing potential costs of over £2 million following a fire at his property.

The fire broke out at the Hillsborough Terrace house in 2008 in what police suspect was an arson attack. No one was hurt in the blaze, but the residents of seven rented rooms lost their possessions and the building itself sustained severe damage.

Following the fire, the landlord, 66-year-old Joseph Draper, was found to have breached fire safety regulations. He originally denied the seven charges made against him but changed his plea for four breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005. He was fined £135,000 at Exeter Crown Court.

Although it is not known whether he had undergone fire safety awareness training in the past, prosecutors suggested that Mr Draper had taken shortcuts and ignored guidance when it came to safety.

It has now been revealed that Draper may face total costs of more than £2 million as a result of the fire. This huge sum consists of £1.5 million for insurance claims, legal costs of £100,000 and building repairs costing as much as £500,000.