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A woman has to move in with her parents because she fears becoming homeless while her husband is on probation for a felony DWI. Over 4 years of probation while living there the parents become extremely toxic and abusive to the woman (their daughter). Then the father passes away and the mother freaks out because she has no income anymore. Daughter offers mother money for rent (has been living there without paying any rent for years) but instead mother tries to force daughter into homelessness in order to move in another person (other daughter) and kick out daughter #1. Daughter and husband and kids move out for three weeks because mother threw a temper tantrum and left the house and daughter wants mom to be able to come back. In that amount of time, daughter gets kicked out of new place due to conduct of husband and mother in law. Daughter comes back to parents' house with a fake permission from mother in law who claims that she talked to the mom. During this time mother has not returned to the home but she has changed the locks despite telling daughter to come back and get the rest of her things out & clean up. Mother is now physically but not mentally incapacitated in a hospital and won't speak to daughter. Once daughter returns to the house if nobody tries to stop her from staying there is that consent to her coming back? How many days are needed to establish residency? State is Texas country is U.S. Is she trespassing? Does someone have to evict her to get her out or can they pop in at any time and say she is trespassing and have her arrested?

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Residency under Texas law is determined by various individual laws for different purposes: probate (in case you die), divorce, in-state tuition, voting, fishing licenses. Your question is in the realm of landlord-tenant law, which does apply to one or more rooms uses as a permanent residence, but there is no requirement that the tenant be a "resident" in any legal sense. So that law is applicable no matter when you arrived in Texas.

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  • In addition to the above, there is a common law concept called "domicile" which isn't require the same as residency and is often important. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domicile_(law)
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 18:36
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The question, reframed and simplified

Daughter, husband and their child live in mother's house with mother's permission in Texas, gratuitously, and without a lease, for several years. Then daughter's family voluntary vacates the premises for a brief period of time, living somewhere else. They seek to return to mother's house. At that point:

Daughter comes back to parents' house with a fake permission from mother in law who claims that she talked to the mom. During this time mother has not returned to the home but she has changed the locks despite telling daughter to come back and get the rest of her things out & clean up. Mother is now physically but not mentally incapacitated in a hospital and won't speak to daughter.

The title question and the question "How many days are needed to establish residency?" are irrelevant to the answer.

The core legal issue is whether, under what circumstances, if the daughter and/or her family return to her mother's home, she is criminally trespassing, or instead has to be evicted:

Once daughter returns to the house if nobody tries to stop her from staying there is that consent to her coming back? . . .Is she trespassing? Does someone have to evict her to get her out or can they pop in at any time and say she is trespassing and have her arrested?

The answer

Daughter and her family are probably trespassing.

Mother changing the locks would probably constitute a revocation of permission to live in mother's house, and a request that daughter and/or her family remove her possessions from the premises likewise does not constitute permission to reside there (instead it does the opposite, clearly establishing a lack of permission to reside there), nor does a fake permission from mother which, if anything, further demonstrates knowledge that the daughter doesn't have permission to live there.

Mother doesn't know daughter has returned, or can't consent to her daughter's occupation of her home anyway, since mother is mentally incapacitated in a hospital and is incapable of consent.

So, the police would probably be within their rights to remove the daughter from the premises without court process, and to charge her and her adult family members with criminal trespassing, since she was never permitted to return and reside there, and her lack of permission to return to live there was clearly communicated to her by acts and words.

However, if the police declined to act, deciding themselves that it was a civil matters (which is reasonably likely to happen), the mother's legal representative, if any, could bring an eviction action to remove the daughter and/or her family instead, in which daughter would have few if any rights as she has no lease and has no permission to be there. So the eviction would proceed under the law applicable to evicting a trespasser.

Footnote Regarding Legal Terminology

When someone is present on property without an oral or written lease, with someone else's permission, this is called a license in legal real estate terminology.

If you are present on property without a lease or a license" because you have not been granted any permission to be on real property, then you are a trespasser on the property (except, as not applicable here, when someone has an easement or right of way that arises by operation of law that gives them permission to do so).

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