NewsContact Denver7


Colorado couple renting basement says Expedia listing is misleading guests who expect to rent entire home

Hosts warn guests to read full descriptions, not headlines
incorrect expedia list on airbnb rental.jpg
Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-01 21:30:24-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A Colorado couple has been renting out their basement apartment on Airbnb and Vrbo for years, but they say that suddenly guests are showing up mistakenly believing they've rented the entire house because of incorrect information on affiliated sites, such as Expedia.

Just minutes away from Horsetooth Reservoir, Tim Knowlton and Erin Cardona are proud to rent out a lake home away from home, their basement apartment, which comes complete with kayaks.

They have listed the one-bedroom space for years on Airbnb and Vrbo.

"We have never had a negative review. We are super hosts," said Knowlton. "And then we got that one-star review."

A recent "terrible" review accused the couple of misleading guests by saying they would have the home to themselves, and suddenly they had nearly $3,000 worth of cancellations in a matter of weeks.

"Three-thousand dollars worth of cancellations is a lot," said Knowlton. "We were shocked. I mean, we're, Erin and I, are perfectionists. And so we lost sleep over it."

They soon learned their Vrbo listing had been posted on Expedia Groups affiliated sites, including Expedia and Orbitz, with incorrect information.

"You can see it says, 'Entire Home' and then it says, 'You'll have the entire home to yourself and will only share it with other guests in your party,'" said Cardona, looking at her Expedia listing. "We did not write that. And we can't get them to take it down."

Colorado couple renting basement say Expedia listing is misleading guests about rental

While the description on the site makes it clear that the listing is not the full house (the owners live upstairs), guests have been confused because of the headlines.

For weeks now, Knowlton said he has been trying to get the listings changed.

"It's almost like a hamster wheel, at this point. We're just going round and round. We have contacted Expedia and they're telling us it's Vrbo's fault, where Vrbo's saying, 'You need to talk to Expedia,'" he said. "So it's literally one of those [fingers pointing at each other]."

A quick search on Expedia showed multiple "Entire Home" listings that appear to be good deals are also not entire homes if you read the entire description.

One nearby Expedia property listed as "Entire Home" includes "Shared Home" in the headline.

So for now, Knowlton and Cardona have updated their listing to emphasize that it is not an entire home despite what the description says, calling every booking to clarify and warning people to check the full description before booking on these sites.

"We don't want to mislead anybody. That's not how we built this," said Knowlton. "If the description says you're getting a full home, and you're not, that's misleading, and that's a bait and switch, and that's a problem."

Vrbo and Expedia have not responded to our requests for comment.

Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need we can address or have a story idea for our consumer investigates team to pursue, please email us at or or call (303) 832-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here. You can also use the form below to request help from Jaclyn Allen and the Contact Denver7 Team.


Need help with a consumer problem? Send it to Jaclyn Allen and the Denver7 Investigates team.
Use the form below to send us a comment or story idea to the Denver7 Investigates Team. You can also email or call our newsroom at 303-832-0200.