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demand for damages/unpaid rent after vacancy

What's a reasonable time to give a vacated tenant to pay a demand for damages/unpaid rent/late fees accrued?   30 days before filing a small claims action?

Yes a 30 day notice is more than a reasonable amount of time. Make sure you have all of your receipts and paperwork in order and documented for the small claims to go quickly and smoothly.
The key to this issue is not how long you give them to pay but how long it took you to provide notice of the damages.  Most States have specific time periods for you to notify the tenant of the damages.  If you do not provide notice within that time period you may forfeit your claim for damages.  Assuming that you did so in a timely manner the time you wait to file the court claim is a matter of personal choice not law.  With the exception that you will have a limited time period in which to actually file the claim.  In some States it may be a year others it may be three years.
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