The land act of 1870 had given the tenant no security in the case of eviction for non-payment of rent; and the tenant whose rent was too high or had been raised was at the mercy of his landlord.
He proposed also that, in cases of eviction, the smaller tenantry should receive compensation for disturbance.
These rights, which are heritable but not transferable, protect the tenant against eviction, except for default in payment of rent, while the rent may not be enhanced except by mutual agreement or by order of a revenue court.
This obligation makes the landlord responsible for any lawful eviction of the tenant during the term, but not for wrongful eviction unless he is himself the wrongdoer or has expressly made himself responsible for evictions of all kinds.
In the session of 1870 Gladstone's principal work was the Irish Land Act, of which the object was to protect the tenant against eviction as long as he paid his rent, and to secure to him the value of any improvements which his own industry had made.