AN MP has condemned the 'feudal' hangover from the Victorian mills of leasehold homes.

Leigh's Jo Platt backed calls for reforms of the system where homeowers have to pay a ground rent and often service charge on properties they have bought.

In as special Westminster debate on the issue, she backed the National Leasehold Campaign, co-founded by Horwich's Jo Darbyshire, in its demands for change.

More than 60 per cent of Bolton's houses are owned under leasehold tenure.

Ms Platt said: "In Leigh alone, more than half of all property transactions came with a leasehold. To understand the anger and sense of injustice that the residents of our towns feel, we must look at the history of how we have got to this situation today.​

"In our proud North-West post-industrial towns properties were often utilised by the once-dominant landowners and manufacturing industries as accommodation for workers with peppercorn rents.

"As our industries declined and our factories closed, those leaseholds were bought up by companies that now dominate the local property market—a feudal system of old transferred into a feudal system of the modern age.

"Those freeholders set into contracts new clauses that double ground rents every few years. A peppercorn payment has turned into a sizeable rent that is hitting families across our constituencies.

"This real and growing crisis has led to desperate families struggling to afford those payments."