WHEN people buy a property, they make sure they can afford the mortgage and fit everything into their new home ­— and leave the legal and technical side to solicitors.

Those who buy a freehold property own the land on which their home is built. Leasehold properties see the homeowners paying rent to a landlord, often at a low rate over many years.

But in what is being called the new PPI mis-selling scandal, some people in leasehold properties are finding themselves facing soaring bills and homes they cannot sell.

There are an estimated four million freehold properties in the UK with 100,000 people trapped in contracts with spiralling ground rents.

In some cases, the cost of the leasehold can be tens of thousands of pounds.

Jo Darbyshire, who bought her dream home in Lostock, has now launched a national group to tackle the problem.

And she is now taking legal action against the solicitors that carried out the conveyancing for the purchase of her home in 2010 for not fully explaining the implications of the leasehold.

In some cases, the price of the leasehold can double every 10 years or be sold to third parties who can also increase the fee or demand payments for processing documents or planning permission.

If Mrs Darbyshire is successful, it is hoped it will pave the way for the thousands of others who are trapped in unsellable properties