This is a difficult situation for you and most unfortunate. You and your brother are both entitled to a share in the house as tenants in common in equal shares. You do not mention whether probate has been extracted to your mother’s estate and who is the Executor or Executors of her Will.
Once probate has been extracted, the property can be placed into you and your brother’s names as tenants in common in equal shares or else the Executor or Executors can place the property on the market provided that instructions are taken from you and your brother. If your brother wants to liquidate his share you have a few options.
1. You buy out his share in the house. Obviously, given your age, it would be very difficult for you to obtain a mortgage but you may be able to borrow from family or friends. Perhaps you could speak to a local auctioneer to see if they know of any investors who would be interested in purchasing your brother’s share and doing a deal with you so that you could live in the house for the rest of your life.
2. You do not mention whether or not there are any monies in the estate or any other assets, for example, shares, life policies etc. It may be possible that you do an exchange with your brother in that the value of his share in the house would be swapped for monies in the estate.
A Deed of Family Arrangement could be drawn up. It is also a possibility that perhaps if there was a balance owed to him that you could pay him over time if he was agreeable to the same or borrow from friends and family to provide him with the balance.
3. Perhaps the most practical solution would be to place the property on the market and divide the proceeds of sale in equal shares. If you are not agreeable to doing this your brother can make an application to partition the property through an application to the Courts without the need of your consent.
Mediation would also be an option that you and your brother could consider, whereby a mediator would meet with both of you with a view to trying to reach an agreement. Perhaps your brother might be amenable to you renting his share of the property from him.
There are no hard and fast rules in this type of situation. Ideally, it would be best if all parties could agree on what to do with the house, but often the more people who have an interest in a property the more scope there is for disagreement.