Counsel, Advocacy & Representation for California Tenants

Tenant Defenders Represents Only Tenants

We take the fight to landlords

Phone Number:



Attorney Marc D. Whitham

My name is Marc D. Whitham and I’m pleased to welcome you to Tenant Defenders.  I am a tenants’ rights attorney that specializes in helping tenants assert and defend their renters rights.  I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me directly to see if I can help you with your situation. Whether you are facing eviction, or need to know how to assert your rights as a renter, I am available to speak with you.

Many tenants mistakenly believe that they have no options when they run into a dispute with the landlord, or that they cannot afford a good lawyer.  

Legal representation does make a difference, and while I cannot offer free consultations, I try to offer as much information as I can through this website to help you understand how hiring a lawyer can make a difference.  So, before you to commit to paying any fees please take a look at the various pages and posts and send me a message through the contact us page.  If you are working with a limited budget, then let me know what you can afford.

Assistance is available and it will make a difference.  I am an experienced litigator who has helped tenants across California with a variety of different issues.   I have helped tenants recover money damages, break leases, forced landlords to make needed repairs, defended against eviction, obtained cash for keys settlements, and advocated for tenants who needed to assert their rights in nearly every context imaginable. 

There are many landlords that refuse to live up to their obligations under the law.  I know how to make them sit up and pay attention.

Often times, I can help tenants to avoid facing a confrontation in court, and eliminate the risk of facing the negative consequences of an eviction.  I have defended hundreds of tenants facing trial, and represented many others in bringing suit against negligent and abusive landlords for damages.  I would love to hear from you to see how I can help.

Please take a look around the website, and feel free to send me a message by filling out the form at the bottom of the page,


If you would like to speak with a lawyer directly, then click on the button below to schedule an appointment.

Get Representation

If you have a situation that is more than a question, and are already having a dispute with your landlord, then information alone is often not enough to settle the matter to your advantage. What most renters need, but seldom have, is an attorney who knows the law, and the landlord’s duties under the law, and is not afraid to advocate for tenants.

Even the most informed tenants can find the court system overwhelming.  Defending against eviction on your own is more than just challenging.  Fort the unprepared and unrepresented it is an ordeal filled with traps.  Tenants who go to court without an attorney frequently enter into bad agreements and suffer humiliation at the hands of the landlord’s lawyers. Having an experienced attorney on your side will make a difference.

Get Informed

If your situation is not a lawsuit in court, but rather a question, or a curiosity about what the law says, there are many places where you can find educational materials, and  every tenant should become familiar with the legal protections for tenants in California law.

Many times the answer to tenants’ legal questions are more complicated than they may first appear.  It’s important to be careful, and not to rely upon every piece of information posted online, or simply accept the advice of friends and neighbors.  Make sure the source of your legal advice is reliable and up to date.

Look around the website and see if we have information to help you.  If you have a question and you can’t find an answer,  click here to send us a comment.  An attorney that specializes in advocating for tenants will reply, and can direct you to the resources you need. 

Don't go to Trial unprepared

Written notices demanding the payment of rent, notices that threaten the termination of your lease, accusations of illegal activity, and notices of changes in terms and conditions of a lease from a landlord or property manager are often the prelude to legal action.  They must be taken seriously.  It is critical for tenants to respond to notice from a landlord intelligently and prudently.

Before you agree to excessive rent increases, or allow the oppressive actions of the owner or management intimidate you, meet with a professional.

Information, early in time, is the key to success.  Often times becoming informed can help you to avoid being on defense.  If you are not able to avoid litigation, then consult with an attorney who stands with tenants and defends their rights.

Don't Waste Time

When a tenant has a legal conflict with the landlord, there is often only a short period of time to act.  Under California law, landlords are usually required to give notice to tenants before they resort to legal action. However, most of these legally required notices give a tenant only three days to act.  When a tenant fails to act within the three days then the landlord can proceed to court.

Once an action to evict (also called unlawful detainer) is filed against a tenant in court, it can move very quickly.   Landlords enjoy a unique legal procedure, which is known as a summary proceeding.   Once a tenant is sued in court, and then served with an unlawful detainer summons, then he or she has only five days to respond.

If your landlord has sued you or is threatening to sue you, then you must act quickly. Hesitation and uncertainty can lead to a loss of money, loss of security and the loss of your home. Don’t wait.  Schedule an appointment for a consultation  immediately to discuss your case.