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Tenant Owes Me Last Months Rent

Hello,  I have a tenant that moved out on September 15th; however, they have yet to pay for the 1/2 month's rent owed for the time they were there in September.  I have contacted them several times and they keep telling me they don't have it.  Also, after their move out, their security deposit did not cover the damages needed to get the house back to a move in condition for the new tenant.  What is the best way to go about collecting the 1/2 of their last month's rent and any additional damages above their security deposit?   Thank you.  

You will need to file in small claims court, I would think.
Generally, you should always collect the full months rent and then prorate the remainder back to them.  Do you collect first plus last months up front?  That is the easiest way to do it.  This way you have it to begin with.  I always ask for it.  I've had a few tell me outright that I am wrong for expecting that much up front.  I just calmly tell them they are welcome to go find another landlord who will accept just the first months rent alone.   This is a great way to weed out those that have a hard time budgetting or think they get to decide what you can do with your own property!   
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