What does ‘lease to own’ or ‘rent to own’ mean?

Some home owners rent their property with the option of lease to own. A part of the rent goes towards the actual rent, while a part of it goes towards the equity of the house. Is the renter supposed to buy the house after a couple of years (say 2 years) by paying one bulk amount towards the remainder equity? Or can the renter continue to pay small amounts towards the equity each month until (say in 20 years) he/she has 100% equity? I want to buy a house eventually but I do not want to finance from bank. I want to keep paying small amounts from the rent towards equity directly to the owner. Do some landlords make agreements like that? My landlord wants to sell me her house, so I want to ask her if she will make an agreement like this with me. THank you in advance for your responses!

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