In most cases at the end of a fixed term, a normal assured shorthold tenancy will continue on a periodic basis even if this is not mentioned in the contract itself until the landlord issues a notice of intention to repossess.
When your contract ends you have different options.
If you want to stay, you can either:
- agree a new fixed term contract – your rent may increase
- stay in your home without signing a new contract – your agreement becomes periodic and rolls on monthly at the same rent
Your landlord is not required to extend the tenancy; it will continue by default (and it is probably in your interest to not sign up to a new fixed term). If, however, the landlord wishes to end the tenancy and repossess the property they must follow the correct procedures including service notice, applying to the court, gaining a repossession order (and the order will usually give you a period to find somewhere else to live) and finally gaining possession from a High Court bailiff. This process can easily take six months.
It is unlawful for a landlord to try to evict you without following the correct procedure or to harrass you in any way.
The law in Scotland/Northern Ireland is not identical, but is similar.