Rent is one of the most important parts of Monopoly. Collecting rent is essentially how you win the game – it’s the whole point of buying properties and the fastest way of making your opponents go bankrupt.
But are you aware of all the rules of rent and how you collect it? There’s one golden rule that a lot of people aren’t aware of – and if you exploit it, you could get a huge advantage in the game.
Let’s look at the full breakdown of the Monopoly rent rules, so you’re prepared for your next game night.
How does rent work in Monopoly?
When a player lands on an opponent’s owned property in a game of Monopoly, they owe them rent. The owner will ask for the amount displayed on the Title Deed. Rent increases if a player owns all the properties in a color set or has upgraded it with houses or a hotel.
Players who can’t afford to make a rent payment go bankrupt – this is how the game is won.
How do you charge rent in Monopoly?
When another player lands on a property you own, you should check the title deed card and ask them for the rent. If you fail to ask for the rent before the next player rolls the dice, then their turn is over and you don’t need to be paid.
In reality, you should just need to declare that the player owes you rent. That should pause gameplay long enough for you to check how much is owed and ask for the sum.
Most people view the act of saying “I own that property, you owe me rent” as being enough to fulfil the rule, and the time it takes you to work out how much is owed is irrelevant.
However, you can absolutely exploit this rule if other players aren’t aware of it and it’s you landing on other players’ property. If you land on a space that you know is owned by another player, just pick up the dice and pass them to the next person whose turn it is.
They might roll and take their turn before anyone realizes what’s happened, and you could escape paying rent. Cheating? No. Sneaky? Maybe.
There are many ways to cheat at Monopoly, and not declaring that you’ve landed on someone else’s property isn’t one of them. It’s well within the rules.
How do you calculate rent in Monopoly?
Monopoly rent is calculated based on whether you own only that property, or you have the full color set, or you have houses or a hotel on the property. The property’s title deed card has the full breakdown of how much rent should be charged.
What does rent with a color set mean in Monopoly?
If you own a full color set, then any rent owed on that property is doubled. That only applies if there are no houses or hotels on the property – they overrule the double-rent rule. You don’t double the rent for houses and hotels, since you can only build those when you own the color set anyway.
It makes sense to try to build houses on your completed color set as soon as possible, as without exception, the rent for owning one house is more than twice the doubled rent for having a color set. Often it’s nearly three times the amount you’d get just for having the color set.
The best value property on the board for adding one house is Park Place. A house costs $200 once you own Park Place and Boardwalk. The rent for Park Place without a house is $70, while with a house it is $175, meaning that you’ll earn back the cost of a house with two players landing on the space.
Can you collect rent while in Jail?
You can collect rent while you are in Jail in a game of Monopoly. As long as you follow the standard rules of asking for the rent when a player lands on your property, they must still pay you.
The only thing that being in Jail really stops you from doing is moving around the board. In the early game, this is more of a problem since you lose out on the chance to acquire property.
But later in the game, it can be advantageous to end up in Jail. You’ll still collect rent from your own properties and can buy houses or hotels on them. But, you won’t risk landing on your opponents’ properties and paying them rent, at least for three turns until you’re forced to pay to leave Jail.
Can you collect rent on mortgaged property in Monopoly?
If you have mortgaged a property, you cannot collect rent for it. You still own the property, but it’s essentially ‘on hold’. It becomes a rest space for other players, and you should work to unmortgage it as soon as possible.
Mortgaged properties do still count towards a color set. So, if an opponent lands on an unmortgaged property that you own, and you own the set but one of the other properties is mortgaged, you can still charge the double rent rate.
What happens if you can’t pay rent in Monopoly?
If you land on a property owned by another player and you can’t afford to pay the rent, you can sell your houses, mortgage other properties you own, or try to complete trade deals for cash with other players to raise the money needed.
Some people believe that you must instantly declare bankruptcy, but that’s not the case – you have this immediate window to raise the funds if it’s at all possible.
However, if you can’t make enough money from selling houses, mortgaging properties and trading with other players, then you must declare bankruptcy.
When that happens, all of your assets are transferred to the player who owns the space, in lieu of rent. If any of your properties are mortgaged, the receiving player must pay 10% of the property’s value to the bank immediately.
Monopoly Rent Prices
Here’s a full table of the rent prices for every property on the US Monopoly game board.
|Property||Cost to buy||Rent||Rent (color set)||Rent (1 house)||Rent (2 houses)||Rent (3 houses)||Rent (4 housea)||Rent (hotel)|
|St. Charles Place||140||10||20||50||150||450||625||750|
|St. James Place||180||14||28||70||200||550||750||950|
|New York Avenue||200||16||32||80||220||600||800||1000|
|North Carolina Avenue||300||26||52||130||390||900||1100||1275|
All of the railroads cost $200 to buy, and you earn the same rent on each of them, depending on how many railroads you own:
- If you own one railroad, the rent is $25
- If you own two railroads, the rent is $50
- If you own three railroads, the rent is $100
- If you own four railroads, the rent is $200
And finally, for utilities, the rent is the same whether you land on the Electric Company or the Water Works. The rent is calculated based on your roll.
- If you own one of the utilities, rent is 4x the dice roll (minimum $8, maximum $48)
- If you own both utilities, rent is 10x the dice roll (minimum $20, maximum $120)
The Bottom Line
The rules for collecting rent are pretty easy to get to grips with in the end, providing you remember that you must ask for rent payments, otherwise you may miss out.
The only time you won’t collect rent on a property you own is when it’s mortgaged, so Jail’s no obstacle, and the property deed cards act as a handy cheat sheet when you need to work out what’s owed.
All that’s left is to make sure you pick up some good properties next time you’re playing Monopoly, stay alert so you’re always ready to ask for rent, and where possible try to get away with not paying rent if you land on someone else’s property without them requesting it. Good luck!