Barnsley Council is consulting on proposals to introduce the scheme in parts of Elsecar, Goldthorpe, Measbrough Dyke and Wombwell.
Licensing officer Gayle Hancock said the scheme was about setting a benchmark for everyone to work to.
A consultation on the proposals runs until 24 September.
The authority said the scheme would affect about 570 properties, and would mean landlords and tenants would be bound by certain requirements.
Landlords would have to pay £530 over five years to license each property they own.
It said the aim of the licensing scheme was to improve the management of private rented properties, reduce anti-social behaviour and help tenants to easily identify who is responsible for their home.
Ms Hancock said: "We know we have some very good landlords in Barnsley - but there are some who are novices at the landlord game, and some who are poor.
"What we want to do is to ensure everyone is working to the same level."