I'm not a lawyer and I don't know a lot about small claims court, but here's my 2cents.
I don't know how much the rent is, but 1/2 of a month's rent is pretty small compared to say, a year's worth of rent (about 5%).
Is the time/effort/money going to small claims court worth getting possibly half a month's rent? It would cost more if they hire a lawyer, or if they represent themselves, they would have to gather all that evidence/witnesses/documents/whatnot themselves.
I think that kind of time and effort could be better spent.
But if they are serious about it, consult a lawyer or someone not me herp.
tl;dr keep calm carry on