MONTREAL- Tenants with mould problems sometimes have to take steps beyond a simple phone call to their landlords to get their air quality brought back to normal.

Samantha Lisi's own journey against mould started when she noticed that her sinus and bronchitis issues seemed to coincide with the discovery of spots of mould in her basement apartment in Ahuntsic.

"Every time it would rain, or the snow would melt it was coming through the outside steps," she said. "I had a feeling that something was worse than it looked."

A health board inspector found that the moisture issue went beyond the entrance way of the home.

Tenants' rights activist Ted Wright suggests that would-be residents do a quick inspection for signs of mould before signing a lease, with particular emphasis on dark places with little air flow.

If one finds mould in an apartment the proper steps start with letting the landlord know verbally and then in writing with a registered letter or any other method that proves delivery, he advises. 

The letter should contain photos and a date on each image.

The civil code orders landlords to make apartments safe for apartment dwellers

In some cases a rental board judge could award damages, temporary lodging, moving costs and even compensation to those exposed to mould.

Lisi's own battle to get fresh air at home has ended with her moving out but her case remains before the courts as a rental board judge will decide if she merits compensation for her troubles.