Property owners are free to do pretty much as they please in their own homes, as long as they're not breaking the law.
If they don't mind the hair, odor and occasional accident, they can keep dogs and cats -- several, if they're serious animal lovers.
And if they can deal with the smell, possible burns to counters and rugs and risk of fires, they can smoke up a storm.
It's not the healthiest decision, but it's certainly their prerogative.
That's not the case for tenants.
A landlord -- the person who actually owns the home -- is well within his or her rights to prohibit a renter from keeping pets or smoking in their property.
A security deposit might cover the damage and extra cleaning necessary after the tenant leaves, but it's simply not worth the hassle for some owners.
If a renter doesn't like that, well ... tough.
They'll just have to find another place where the property owner is willing accommodate them.
Those units are out there. They might not be exactly what the renter wants or where he or she wants to be, but that's the trade-off for the privilege of keeping critters or lighting up.
So, while we understand the angst of some residents affected by the York Housing Authority's decision to ban smoking in its units, we don't really have a problem with it.
We certainly don't agree with the resident, one of several dozen who attended a meeting this week about the new policy, who proclaimed, "What I do in my own private premises, it's nobody's business."
Well, it is, when she doesn't own those premises. If a tenant is doing something a landlord considers damaging to the property, it very much is the landlord's business.
The York Housing Authority owns and manages more than 1,000 units in affordable-housing complexes throughout the county. Tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent, with the rest subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The no-smoking policy, which goes into effect Oct. 1, will be written into leases.
It was HUD that "strongly encouraged" the smoking ban, according Shelley Peterson, director of housing management. For now, she said, there's no funding incentive to implement smoking bans, but, "My guess is at some point HUD will mandate it."
The authority is holding a series of meetings at all of its facilities to inform residents of the new policy -- and if this week's, the first, is any indication, Peterson can expect to get an earful at every one.
But don't expect the authority to budge.
"They believe they have a constitutional right, which they don't," Peterson said.
No one wants to see the government intrude more into people's lives. But in this case, the York Housing Authority is the landlord.
And the landlord makes the rules.