refuses to refund screening fee or give copy of credit report

By arrintd

While our home was in the end stages of escow, we decided to rent a home represented by a local real estate agent.  She knew our situation, we filled out the application, paid the screening fee and the very next day, we were approved due to our good cedit and high income.  Due to our home in escrow, we offered to pay a security deposit so they would not lease to anyone else.  The realtor then told us that if we did not move in on the expected date, we would lose the deposit.  I then told her that as per CA law, a security deposit can not be non-refundable and can only be deducted from if there was unpaid rent or damage to the property.  She proceded to tell us that she was not going to call it a deposit but rent (so it could not be refunded) and when we moved in, the balance we paid would be called the deposit (which was completely different than the agreement she made when we initially toured the home).  She also refused to show us the rental contract until we agreed to sign it.

We pleaded with her to place a holding deposit (which can be non-refundable), pay the daily rent for the days that it was off the market and pay the landlord’s finder’s fee if we were not able to move in due to escrow falling out but she refused.  She then assured us that if anyone expressed interested in the property, she would notify us before leasing it.
Nov. 6, I called her and left a message stating that we were ready to sign for lease on Nov.7 (applied date for move in was Nov 9).  Right after leaving the message, I called back to see if she would answer and she did, only to inform me that another applicant applied and she processed their paperwork very quicky and they were coming in Nov 7 to sign lease.  I then told her that I had just left her a message stating that we were ready to sign for lease Nov7 and since our paperwork was processed first, we should have priority to sign.  She refused to let us sign.  
I have since requested a refund of the screening fee ($50) which as per her application, stated would be refunded if we did not rent the property, and a copy of our credit reports so we don’t have to have it ran again when trying to search for another property.  She has ignored all requests.  Should I report her?  If so, to who?  Do I have any leg to stand on with this?  Should I tell her about my intentions to report her before doing so?

Edited on: Friday, November 15th, 2013 2:19 pm

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