I think at some point, Section 8 will realize that you got paid when should not have. Then they will reach out to you for the refund. Also, they might just do auto debit your account. The paperwork that you signed in the beginning authorizes this type of transactions in case of mistakes.
Overall, you can do nothing, but just don't go out and spend it.
BTW, how much where you getting form Section 8 for rent in bay area?
I have Section 8 in Las Vegas.
My experience in the Detroit area has been that if the tenant was in your property for even one day out of the month, they’ll pay you for the full month. Like Terry suggested though, I would hold off on spending it at least for 30 days to see if the commission tries to prorate it and take it back.
$17K damages they did
17k in damages? your lucky what type of damage did you accrue? and how long where they there?
Sorry this happened to you. Typically the tenant AND the landlord are required to report move-outs to the Housing Authority. I understand wanting to keep the money, but it's not the Housing Authority's responsibility to pay for damage caused by the tenant. That's something you'd need to go after the tenant for. Unfortunately, many Section 8 tenants are essentially judgment-proof because they don't have the means to pay for damages such as this. However, you can still report the fact they owe you money through a debt reporting services (i.e. Landlord Debt Reporting Service, Rent Recovery Service, etc). You may not ever collect anything but you don't even need a judgment to report it and you may help some future landlord avoid a problem tenant.
Agreed, if they resided in the property on the first, assuming their lease term begins the first of the month, then they are responsible for rent for the entire month. $17K? Are you sure you're not trying to remodel your house at their expense?
@Anthony Chung $17k in damages!? That sounds like it could be a good cautionary post if you wouldn't mind writing it up and posting pictures of the carnage.
On the rent payment, I suspect it would depend on if there was proper notice from the tenants of the move-out, and since they did carry over possession into the following term it may just be a wash in terms of the Section 8 portion, as others have said. I always believe these sorts of questions are best addressed to the other concerned party -- just contact the relevant case worker and let them know what the situation. Having a good working reputation with these organizations can make your life better, so don't be shy about reaching out to them. If you're having trouble reaching anyone then I'd suggest you head to the office, probably in the afternoon, as it has always seemed that mornings are busier at the local HA's here unless you're getting there first thing.