So, I listen to Sonic, which is a modern rock radio station (define modern rock… anything that isn’t old? Why is music from the 90’s modern?) here in town. They usually have time for people to call in and talk about what ever they want. The other day, the DJ was complaining about non-smoking apartments and how they shouldn’t be able to say that.
It seemed to me that we’ve had “non-smoking apartments” for some time now. This isn’t new. Maybe it’s because there are so many renters, and not so many properties that landlords are able to be picky and have started to adopt the “non-smoking” stance by default.
The people calling in were quite indignant that there were being told what to do “in their own place”. It’s kind of funny that they used the word “own”, for in fact, they don’t OWN the place at all! Part of the thing about renting is that you really have no say about the place you stay in. The people who pay for the apartments in which they live believe that they are “entitled” to the “freedom” to “do what they want”. I kind of had to laugh when I heard this all – smoke-free rental’s aren’t new, and to be completely correct – renters DON’T have any right to do ANYTHING to their apartments that the landlords (or owners) don’t want done.
I’m not saying that I’ve never painted a wall a colour that the landlord didn’t like, or that I’ve never changed a lightswitch (or every outlet) *ahem*. I guess I thought that I was improving the place (I still think that I was), but I guess that I’m saying that I had no right to. If the landlord wanted to kick me out for that, they had the complete opportunity and legal standing to do so. But they didn’t, and they didn’t even make me paint any of the walls over (we did, however patch and repaint all of the dings and dents so they wouldn’t be mad). I still think that this is slightly different than smoking in an apartment.
The last place I sayed in was a smoke-free building – at least it was supposed to be. We had neighbours down the hall who routinely smoked pot AND tobacco. This, to me, was very disrespectful and annoying. Not only were they breaking the rules, but they were making MY apartment smell horrid. I am also VERY allergic to smoke, so when we picked an apartment, it HAD to be non-smoking. So you can imagine my anger when I had allergy attacks in my own apartment from some stupid people down the hall.
I didn’t end up doing anything about it. I was sure that the landlord didn’t love me, and thus I wasn’t going to go to do anything that made her crazy, so I lived with it. It just made me so mad to hear that someone was outraged that they weren’t allowed to smoke “in their OWN place”. Buy a house, buddy, and smoke in it all you want (note: not that he’d be able to affort to smoke with a mortgage payment! Yowzahs!).