The influence of an electrically inhomogeneous epitaxial bottom layer on the ferroelectric and electrical properties has been explored in epitaxial PbTiO3 (PTO)/La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 (LSMO) submicron structures using atomic force microscopy. The submicron LSMO-dot structures underneath the ferroelectric PTO film allow exploring gradual changes in material properties. The LSMO interfacial layer influences significantly both electrical and ferroelectric properties of the upper PTO layer. The obtained results show that the as-grown polarization state of an epitaxial ferroelectric layer is strongly influenced by the properties of the layer on top of which it is deposited. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.