Director Graeme Brown said: "Short-term tenancy agreements do not provide the stability and security individuals and, in particular, young families need in order to live a settled life and bring up children.
"Too often we hear of people being moved on, evicted, or rents increased unreasonably, forcing people into the destructive and unsettling cycle of having to move house, every six months in some cases; preventing them from ever being able to put down strong roots or build a stable environment in which to live.
"Often, children's education can suffer as a result of frequent moves to other schools. We want to build a private rented sector that is fit for families and individuals and protects all tenants, a sector that provides long-term homes, not short-term housing."
This would benefit landlords as well as tenants and property owners would enjoy a "more constant and predictable income with less downtime between rents and happier more stable relationships with their tenants", Mr Brown insisted. "That's why we are calling on the Scottish Government to reform the private rented sector and turn it into a place where the increasing numbers of people who rely on it can make a house a home and live with increased security and dignity."
The Scottish Government said ministers were committed to encouraging a "thriving and well-managed private rented sector". A spokeswoman said: "This spring we will publish a strategy for the Scottish private rented sector which sets out our future vision for tenants and landlords. We undertook a consultation on this last year and sought views on current tenancy regimes from a range of stakeholders, including Shelter Scotland. We look forward to continuing to work with these stakeholders, Shelter among them, as we move forward with this work."