The often inevitable result of what happens when a Cranky Landlord is also a Nosy Neighbor. This is what happens when a landlord is obsessed with one very specific rule in the rental contract, and relentlessly harasses the tenants based on the premise that they're secretly breaking this rule. What makes this trope particularly ridiculous is that the tenants usually are breaking the rule. To make this work landlord has to be just dumb enough to not be able to prove it, even though it's painfully obvious to all the viewers. Because of the obvious silliness inherent in this trope it never really caught on- it remains with us in pop culture today largely as parody. More specifically, that a Lowest Common Denominator exists which would actually be taken it by such a transparent Idiot Plot. Fridge Logic, as a result, tends to run rampant.
- The Trope Maker is likely Three's Company. It's reputation as being a fountain for Idiot Plots is largely based on the only part of the show anyone remembers- that Jack has to pretend to be gay so the landlord doesn't realize the apartment is a den of sin. That Janet and Chrissy didn't just get a female roommate (like most women would do in their situation) was chalked up to Rule of Funny.
- Parodied in Sam & Max Season 1, where the heroes are forced to audition for "Midtown Cowboys", a show where the titular cowboys must hide their herd (of one cow) from a landlord who constantly suspects that they're hiding a cow in their apartment. As the Tag Line goes, They're probably hiding a cow!
- Parodied in a strip of Penny Arcade with That's So Locust, a show about a Gears of War alien that must pretend to be a human woman for the purposes of this trope.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.