I recently played Monopoly and was forced to sell hotels to pay my opponent. The problem was that the bank only had two houses left, so I was unable to sell hotels because there weren't enough houses to replace them with. I only wanted to sell the hotels because I didn't need any more money.

The rules state the number of houses and hotels are finite, so what can I do in this situation: when there there is no way to sell hotels and replace with houses? Assume everything else was mortgaged and I had no money.

  • My guess would be that in addition to selling the hotel, you'd also have to sell houses until you have reduced the number of houses on the property such that there are enough to put on the board Jun 28, 2014 at 16:19
  • I asked this same question a while ago.
    – GendoIkari
    Jun 29, 2014 at 5:04

2 Answers 2


The rules clearly state that houses and hotels are a finite resource:

BUILDING SHORTAGES: When the Bank has no houses to sell, players wishing to build must wait for some player to return or sell his/her houses to the Bank before building. If there are a limited number of houses and hotels available and two or more players wish to buy more than the Bank has, the houses or hotels must be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

Furthermore, the rules for selling houses and hotels are clear:

Houses and hotels may be sold back to the Bank at any time for one-half the price paid for them. All houses on one color-group must be sold one by one, evenly, in reverse of the manner in which they were erected. All hotels on one color-group may be sold at once, or they may be sold one house at a time (one hotel equals five houses), evenly, in reverse of the manner in which they were erected.

The rules do not clearly cover the situation you describe, but I think they implicitly force you into selling more than you need to cover your debts.

Specifically, if there are only two houses left on the board, you would have to sell your hotels and houses in the reverse order you build them until there are enough house and hotel pieces available on the board to accurately reflect what you've done. In your case this means selling from a full set of hotels down to two houses.

Strategically I'd recommend a different play. If the hotels are the only improvements you have on the entire board you're probably screwed anyway, but if not I'd consider selling houses you own on other properties first.


Hotels are complete "units." They can be sold as such, or a player can receive houses as "change," providing there are enough houses for this purpose.

In this case, the most "change" you can receive is two houses. You have to sell one hotel outright, and the equivalent of four houses in each of the remaining two properties, putting one house on each of those.

I'm assuming that this will allow you to pay off the debt, and you'll have a little bit left over. You can't buy any more houses until at least one is made available. You may unmortgage other property with what money you have left.

Another solution is to offer most or all of your mortgaged property in exchange for either cancellation of the debt (by the landlord), or to a third party for enough to pay the debt, or in "chunks" to third and fourth parties. (If it's a two way game, you're lost anyway). In a multiway game, people will have to worry about third parties, and that may give you some leverage to make a deal that will help them, more than it helps their opponents. On the other hand, if your hotels are the "big threat" in the game, others may be happy to see it disappear.

For future questions, it might be helpful to know which monopoly your hotels are on, what your other properties are, the number of other players, and their holdings.

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