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Last night, someone got the Community Chest "You are assessed for street repairs - $40 per house $115 per hotel"

He didn't have the money to pay. This led to a long argument.

Can he sell some of the houses to cover the cost of the repair?

And if he does, do the sold houses count in the calculation of $40 per house?

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    Sorry, yes, I meant 'sell' back the houses. Looks like someone kindly edited for me. – Dan Apr 9 at 4:19
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You can sell houses and hotels at any time, for any reason.

From the rules:

Houses and hotels may be sold back to the Bank at any time for one-half the price paid for them.

The amount of money you have to pay is based on the houses/hotels you had at the time you drew the card. Selling houses/hotels at this point would not reduce the amount you have to pay.

While this is not addressed directly in the rulebook, multiple sources confirm this in a FAQ.

http://richard_wilding.tripod.com/faq.htm

When assessed for street repairs, pay for all houses and hotels you own on the entire board at that time.

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    That mentions two times (when you are assessed and when you pay) and says "at that time" without specifying which time it's talking about. As I parse it, "When assessed for street repairs" is the triggering pre-condition and "pay for all the houses and hotels you own on the entire board at that time" is the result. That means you pay for those you own at the time you pay. Consider, "When married, buy your spouse the gifts appropriate at that time." It's much more natural to understand this to mean at the time you're buying gifts, not the time you got married. – David Schwartz Apr 9 at 18:13
  • @DavidSchwartz No, the only time mentioned is “when assessed”. I think the only reason the “when married” example is ambiguous is that “when married” can refer to a general long period of time, not to one specific event. If you had said “when you have your wedding”, you would see the difference. “When assessed” is one specific moment in time, not a general time frame during which a rule applied. – GendoIkari Apr 9 at 18:56
  • @DavidSchwartz You pay for the amount you have at the time you draw the card. – Mast Apr 10 at 13:29
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I have always interpreted the card as:

  • Amount to pay = (£$40 * [no. of houses]) + (£$115 * [no. of hotels]). This amount is fixed, regardless of any houses / hotels which may then need to be sold. Which is to say - you cannot reduce the amount you need to pay by selling off houses and hotels.
  • If the player can afford it, they pay the amount to the bank;
  • If the player has insufficient cash, then funds need to be raised through house / hotel sales and / or mortgaging / selling properties;
  • If funds still can't be raised - bad luck. You're bankrupt and out of the game.

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