The landlord I have right now is my favorite landlord I have ever had. He is also far and away the worst landlord I have ever had.

He's inept in the extreme. Toothless in a residential conflict (of which there have been many).  Useless in a maintenance crisis (of which there have been many). Almost always unavailable. But I can't help it. I love him.

His name is Nigel, and I refuse to change that to protect him, because he is the Nigelest Nigel you could ever know. He's British. Yes that's right: my landlord is a Brit named Nigel. I bet I could stop right there, because I bet you already love him, too.

Nigel is short, sixty-ish, slightly pot-bellied, with reddish hair and ruddy skin. He wears glasses and is partial to navy and grey track suits, though I can't imagine Nigel runs much track.

It was Nigel who clinched the deal, when I was considering moving to this building.

I'd gone through a third party rental service, one run via a very cute website I'd stumbled across. The service hosts a limited, carefully curated selection of stylish but affordable spaces across LA's various neighborhoods. But the girl who handled my listing was supercilious, impatient, and moody -- awful. From day one I wanted to tell her to take a flying leap -- but I wanted the apartment, bad.

When I finally came to view the unit, she turned the pressure up, big time. There were other interested parties, I had to move fast, etc etc. She stood there in the doorway, portfolio in hand, all but tapping her toe at me. I had half a mind to bolt when Nigel came tapping at the door.

"Oh, hello," he popped his head in. "I'm Nigel, the building manager." He stuck out his hand and smiled his funny, shy little smile. I'd come to know it over the next year as the same one that appears whenever he cracks a joke (of which there have been many). Nigel stood quietly nearby as my would-be leasing agent reiterated the building's amenities (of which there are few).

I ignored her and turned to Nigel. "Do you live in the building?"

"Yes, I'm on the third floor. Anything you need at all, I'll give you my number, just text anytime."

Live-in building managers are a good sign in my book. I felt myself deciding. The lure of having this sitcom character as my landlord was too great.

Then he piped up again: "Do you know, if you take this unit, you'll get free internet?"

"I'm sorry?"

"Yeah, it's the only one, and only because you're right above the laundry room modem. I've tried it myself. I don't know how strong the signal is, but I suppose if you're close enough to the door..."

And the rest is history.

Well, no. The rest is shit story, because almost immediately after I moved in, disaster struck. Check that: disasters.

There was the time my bathroom roof caved in due to a plumbing issue in the apartment above. And if you're thinking Oh no, I hope it wasn't... it was. It was that, exactly. Nigel's response? A lot of hand-wringing, exclaiming Oh dear, and an infuriating refusal to commit (without his boss's approval) to the expense of a 24-hour emergency plumber. Repair that took days longer than it should have.

There was the time water started pouring from my kitchen ceiling...through a light fixture. Nigel's response? Disbelief that another plumbing issue would strike again, and so soon, and only my apartment. Assurances that no electrical fires were possible. Repair that took days longer than it should have.

There was the time Timo -- having accidentally taken my key and returned to hide it outside my window while I was at work, hid it a little too well -- and Nigel had to be summoned to produce a spare. His response? He'd not properly labeled his copy of my key, and wasn't sure which of several dozen it was. Famished and exhausted from work, I sank to the floor in the drafty hallway outside my door, fantasizing about my fridge and my bed. My bumbling, embarrassed landlord tried key after key after key, chatting me up amiably the whole while, as if we were having a cozy afternoon tea instead of fighting with a deadbolt at 11pm on a Sunday. He felt worse about how cold and tired and hungry I was than anything else, and eventually insisted I wait in the model unit across from my own while he called a locksmith. Nigel came in to find me curled up tightly on the tiny love seat, clutching the (inflatable) bed's flimsy coverlet, the world's most miserable lockout. He offered to order me a pizza.

When The Great First Floor Feud of 2017 broke out (long story short: I had an unbelievably inconsiderate, chain-smoking, music-blaring, offkey-singing asshole of a neighbor), Nigel did not have my back.

When multiple residents decided it was cool to use the patch of stones underneath my window as their dog's personal WC, Nigel did not have my back.

When one of my asshole neighbor's friends stole my doormat and it was caught on camera, Nigel did not have my back.

And yet.

There was how he was with Chaucer, and how Chaucer was with him. And if I've said it once I've said it a hundred times - the way to my heart is through my dog's heart. Always will be. Also: regularly hearing my doggo's very English name pronounced with a very English accent? Priceless.

There is his unfailing self-deprecation. There is his pure, unselfconscious and utterly organic British humor, which will catch me off guard in the most welcome moments, such as when I'm feeling a bit low. There is the fact that he's the only person in this building who routinely receives packages from Barnes and Noble. There is the fact that he managed to secure a lease renewal for me at a zero dollar increase. That's zero, nil, nothing, nada.

And there is the fact that every so often he'll stop on the stairs outside my door, hang out for a moment while I'm coming or going, and randomly open up about his personal life. About his friends in the valley, who are lovely, but who have rather annoying children, to be honest. About the family he's going home to see, but could probably just as well do without, thanks very much. About whatever.

When Nigel gets Nigelly, you can easily see what's underneath. A very sweet, very funny, possibly lonely but overall well-adjusted fellow living abroad who's ok with being the odd one in.

And I'm glad he's in where he is, in America, Los Angeles, Koreatown, 90020.