HausFS often encounters smaller associations who, rather than rely on their elected board, make most of their decisions by an owner vote.  While this would seem the neighborly and democratic way to run a small building, it can create liability problems for board members.

The elected board owes a "fiduciary duty" to the association.  This means that they must put the interests of the entire association above their own personal interests.  Holding off on repairing a roof might save everyone money, but it would not be in the best interests of the association to delay required maintenance.  It's the board's responsibility to make difficult decisions that, while they may not be popular with the owners, must be made to preserve the integrity of everyone's investment.

Individual owners do not owe a fiduciary duty to the association.  Therefore, they are free to vote in a way that protects their own self-interest rather than the interest of the association on the whole. Owners generally outnumber board members.  However, it is ultimately the board that is responsible for the decisions made and any legal consequences (not to mention most of the effort that is required to follow through on a vote) .  It is in the board's best interests to handle the decision making and reserve all owner votes for the limited number of issues that legally require a vote of all owners.