ST HELENS South & Whiston MP attacked the government over the controversial leasehold scandal affecting millions of homeowners last month.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, May 23, Marie Rimmer MP spoke out after the Labor party forced a non-binding vote to scrap leaseholds.

With estimates of almost 5 million leasehold homes in England, the "archaic" model has caused controversy as those under such contracts do not have full ownership of their own homes.

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St Helens Star: Marie Rimmer spoke about leaseholds in Parliament last monthMarie Rimmer spoke about leaseholds in Parliament last month (Image:

The leasehold contracts, which reached a peak of 15% of all homes in 2016, require people to pay yearly ground rent to the person who owns the land the home sits on, on top of mortgage rates.

The contracts also see leaseholders forced to request and often make payments to the landowner for any changes they wish to make on their own property, such as having a pet or making household improvements.

Although the government committed to abolishing ground rents last year, Marie Rimmer said that the government has not done enough to tackle the scandal, particularly for those already "trapped" in a leasehold contract.

She also spoke about how the crisis has affected those in her constituency, where high numbers of new houses have been built and sold on leasehold contracts

St Helens Star: Homeowners in St Helens and Knowsley have been affected by the problemHomeowners in St Helens and Knowsley have been affected by the problem (Image: PA)

Ms Rimmer said: "As a representative of a constituency with many new houses, I am concerned about the proportion of new build houses sold at leaseholds - from 7% in 1995 to a peak of 15% in 2016.

"Thousands more people have been trapped in leasehold arrangements over the past two decades. These are often missold homeowners [...] and people are now denied basic rights in their own homes.

"Many people buying their homes in St Helens and Knowsley have been caught in this scandal [...] Leaseholds should not be sold anymore, they are absouletly not fit for purpose.

"Why has the government not done more? Who owns these properties and this land? Who is this leasehold payment going to? It's about time that there were investigations taking place."

"Legislating for new houses is of course essential, yet just as essential is legislative retrospectively to help people already caught in the leasehold scandal.”

"Families in my constituency are having to pay huge ground rents on top of their mortgage. It needs sorting now.”

St Helens Star: The MP called on the government to do more to help leaseholdersThe MP called on the government to do more to help leaseholders (Image: Marie Rimmer MP)

Labour wants to introduce the report completed by the Law Commission, which would give people the right to extend their lease to 990 with zero ground rent at any time.

The party has also called on the government to extend the protections to existing leasehold properties.